Publication Date



[Excerpt] This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians.

Opponents of the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA) argue against it on three points: (1) the high rate of violence against trade unionists in Colombia; (2) the lack of adequate punishment for the perpetrators of that violence; and (3) weak Colombian enforcement of International Labor Organization (ILO) core labor standards and Colombia’s labor laws.

Proponents of the agreement argue primarily for the proposed Colombia FTA on the basis of economic and national security benefits. Accordingly, they argue, the CFTA would support increased exports, expand economic growth, create jobs, and open up investment opportunities for the United States. They also argue that it would reinforce the rule of law, spread values of capitalism in Colombia, and anchor hemispheric stability.


Suggested Citation

Bolle, M. J. (2011). Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues [Electronic version]. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.