From a statement from the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica (CICR):
Industry position before negotiations with Colombia: "No exclusions, No agreement"
• Sub sectors such as plastics, food, paper, cardboard and sanitary ware should be left out of negotiations.
• Bogotá announces that FTA could include the entire industry.
August 3, 2012. In light of the announcement that the Free Trade Agreement, FTA, with Colombia could include 100% of production in both countries, the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica, CICR, was emphatic in stating its total disagreement on the matter, and asserts that if an adequate exclusion of sub sectors that could be harmed is not made, this institution will not support the trade agreement.
According to Juan Ramon Rivera, Senior Vice President of the CICR, the industry will enforce its position at every turn, including going to the legislative assembly. From the outset, the Chamber of Industry has believed that opening the domestic market up to Colombian products poses a serious threat to the stability and permanence of many companies.
News of the inclusion of the entire industry sector in the FTA, if the first offer on market access presented by Bogotá is approved, was endorsed by Colombia's chief negotiator, Humberto Javier Gamboa.
The companies most vulnerable to the asymmetry of competitive conditions between Costa Rica and Colombia, are those in the fields of plastics, food, paper and cardboard, sanitary ware, electrical goods, metalworking, paints, cleaning preparations, and furniture, among others.
In the fourth round of negotiations, Costa Rica is asking for the exclusion of detergents, plastics, paper, glass, and other industrial products from the trade agreement.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex), is calling for the elimination of some products from the trade agreement currently being discussed with Colombia such as soaps and detergents, plastics, paper and cardboard, timber, sanitary ware and glasses, which is contrary to the interests of Colombia who in the first round of negotiations called for the inclusion of the entire industrial sector in the agreement.
The requested exclusions have been included in the final text of the Free Trade Agreement signed by the Ministers of Costa Rica and Colombia.
At the end of the negotiations for the FTA with Colombia, Costa Rican industrialists were satisfied with the final text, which "includes the requested exclusions of products such as polypropylene bags, soaps, paper and cardboard, plastics, electrical materials, glass, sanitary ware, textiles, wood and metal furniture, aluminum profiles, and commercial printing, among others. "
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