UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon (C) and Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon at the UN on April 6, 2011. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. April 7, 2011: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is set for a face-to-face meeting at the White House with President Obama today.
The White House said Wednesday, today’s meeting will “discuss important issues related to our enduring bilateral partnership.”
The two Presidents are expected to approve the recently agreed-upon Action Plan Related to Labor Rights and to discuss next steps with regard to the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement. They will also review ongoing U.S.-Colombia cooperation on a range of security, economic, and social issues. This will be the second meeting between the Presidents, who met on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York City on September 24, 2010.
Colombia has said that by April 22nd, the Santos administration will expand protections for union activists, workers who want to join a union and former union members who were threatened in the past.
This is the second time that the United States has reached a trade agreement with Colombia. The Bush administration did so in 2007, but Democrats in Congress, backed by labor unions, opposed that agreement, along with the Panama and South Korea pacts, arguing that American jobs could be lost and that the deals did not provide enough access for American companies.