Description:Free trade agreements signed by the EU with Colombia and with Central American countries Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama became effective on 1 August 2013 as part of the EU strategy to eliminate tariffs on trade with Central American and the Andean region. The EU Free Trade Agreement with Peru became effective on 1 March 2013.
Implication(s):The deal could potentially save exporters €500 million every year in tariffs alone. It is expected to boost European sales of cars, luxury goods and chemical products as well as Peru's and Colombia's food and mineral exports to Europe. Working conditions and labour rights, especially in Colombia, were contentious issues in the negotiations but the European Commission said that the deal includes far-reaching provisions on the respect of human rights, the rule of law and effective implementation of international conventions on labour rights and environmental protection.
Current Position:The trade deal with the two Andean nations was signed in June 2012 and was approved by the European Parliament last December. Its provisions apply provisionally until all EU member states have ratified the deal. Separate agreements with the smaller economies of Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama also take effect from 1 August 2013.
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Last Updated: 08/15/2013