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    US, Colombia Work to Fully Implement 2012 Free-Trade Deal - Trade Office

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US and Colombian officials meeting in Washington, DC this week agreed to continue implementing a 2012 free trade agreement, which calls for an end to all tariffs in trade between the two nations within 15 years, according to a press release by the Office of the US Trade Representative on Friday.

    "[Officials] agreed to continue to work together to ensure effective implementation of, and compliance with, the trade in goods and services, customs, intellectual property rights, labor and environment obligations of the agreement," the release stated.

    The 2012 Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, or CTPA, eliminated tariffs on 80 percent of US consumer and industrial goods imported by Colombia, with remaining tariffs phased out over the next ten years, according to the US government. The deal also targeted a phase-out of agricultural tariffs in 15 years.

    Thursday’s meeting was led by Deputy US Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney and Colombia Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism Vice Minister Olga Lucia Lozano, the release said.

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    The meetings took place amid the recently stalled free trade talks with the US NAFTA partners, namely, Canada and Mexico, hit hard by Trump's announcement of 25 percent import tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum for an array of countries in May. Canada, Mexico and European nations were temporarily relieved of the restrictions, but Trump subsequently chose not to extend the exemptions. This move prompted a harsh reaction from the US trade partners.

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    The announced import tariffs have also triggered a significant deterioration of trade relations between the United States and China, with both sides repeatedly exchanging threats to impose further bilateral import duties.

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    free trade, Colombia, United States
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