Obama: US, Colombia trade deal a 'win'

5:06 PM, Apr 15, 2012   |    comments
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CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) - President Barack Obama is praising the free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia, saying it includes protections for workers and the environment that will serve as a "win" for both countries.

Obama and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said at a joint news conference that the trade deal will go into effect May 15.

The U.S. and Colombia agreed to the trade deal last year. But implementation of the pact was contingent on Colombia enacting reforms to protect unions.

Obama says it will support "thousands of U.S. jobs" and give Colombia a market for exports. He says it will be a win for workers and the environment because there are "strong protections." Obama says those are "commitments that we are going to fulfill."

Business leaders support the agreement but labor leaders say Colombia still has a poor record of violence against labor union members. The AFL-CIO says it is deeply disappointed by the administration's move.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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