The ratification of the trade promotion agreement by US Congress is expected to lead to an increase in  exports from the US in excess of $1bn, while boosting imports  from Colombia to over $480m.

Although the two countries are considered close allies, US Congress took nearly five years to give the go ahead for the agreement. The main concerns surrounded the trade unionists rights in Colombia, but the protectionist approach of the American labour union is often quoted as the real reason for the delay. Trade pacts with South Korea and Panama, which had also been delayed, were reached in October too.

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The pact with Colombia, that should come in to force in the first half of 2012, is expected to significantly increase the number of American investments into Colombia. According to the fDIMarkets data, between 2003 and 2011 the US accounted for one quarter of inward FDI into the country, and that figure is likely to increase with trade barriers no longer in place.