Latin America Update: February 16, 2012
Update on the US-Colombia FTA
While the US-Colombia trade deal was approved by Congress in October, it’s not yet in effect due to a disagreement over Colombia’s compliance with US-imposed labor requirements. US officials report that the FTA should be active within “months.” Key U.S. exports will gain immediate duty-free access including almost all products in these sectors: agriculture and construction equipment, aircraft and parts, auto parts, fertilizers and agro-chemicals, information technology equipment, medical and scientific equipment, and wood.
Mexican Drought Hits Agriculture Hard
The worst drought in 71 years is currently affecting 22 of the 31 Mexican states with a 40% reduction in corn and bean yields, staples of the Mexican diet. Mexico is the United States’ third most important trading partner after Canada and China.
UNASUR to Propose a Fiber Optic Ring for South America at Meeting in Paraguay
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will discuss a proposal to implement a Fiber Optic Ring to lower the cost of Internet throughout South America. Internet “bandwidth” in South America is three to four time more expensive than in North America. Representatives from the 12 nations of UNASUR meet again on March 9th in Asunción, Paraguay.