Colombian president credits US trade deal for his country's growth surge

Colombia is quickly becoming one of Latin America’s leading emerging economies with rapid and steady growth, thanks in part to a 2012 trade agreement with the United States, President Ivan Duque told FOX Business on Tuesday.

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“[Colombia and the U.S.] have a very close relationship,” Duque told Maria Bartiromo. “And I think the trade deal that was signed in 2012 has been very important for both countries.”

The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA), signed on May 15, 2012, eliminated duties on 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia.

The U.S. trade balance with Colombia shifted from a goods deficit of $244 million in 2017 to a surplus of $1.2 billion in 2018, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

“The rise of foreign direct investment in the last semester, which was above 24%, is one of the triggers of Colombia's high growth this year,” said Duque, who described the U.S. as a strategic partner. “We compared it to Latin America that is going to grow 0.5 percent. Colombia is going to grow above 3 percent, which is above the region on the world average. So we have to keep the investment going.”

Colombia is Latin America’s oldest democracy and third-largest economy.