EU Trade Relations with Latin America: Results and Challenges in Implementing the EU-Colombia/Peru Trade Agreement

22-02-2016

The Trade Agreement between the EU and Peru and Colombia has been provisionally implemented since the middle of 2013. However, based on limited secondary data available to date on its effects, this report shows that trade profiles have not been substantially altered. EU exports to Latin America are dominated by pharmaceuticals, machinery and vehicles, and have experienced very slight increases. Colombian exports to the EU have benefitted more than Peruvian exports from improved access, but oil and minerals remain the top exports. Fruit, vegetables, flowers and above all sugar cane and confectionaries have been the greatest beneficiaries of the tariff eliminations and reductions. Despite this lack of substantial change, the institutional arrangements and sub-committees created by the Agreement have been implemented. Civil society has also been involved in meetings of the Trade and Sustainability sub-committee, but resource and capacity constraints preclude smaller organisations from full participation in the process. Sadly, reports of the human rights situation in Colombia, in particular the plight of trade unionists, continue to be negative. Although the Government has made progress in legislative terms, the full implementation of measures at the local level remains incomplete and challenging.

The Trade Agreement between the EU and Peru and Colombia has been provisionally implemented since the middle of 2013. However, based on limited secondary data available to date on its effects, this report shows that trade profiles have not been substantially altered. EU exports to Latin America are dominated by pharmaceuticals, machinery and vehicles, and have experienced very slight increases. Colombian exports to the EU have benefitted more than Peruvian exports from improved access, but oil and minerals remain the top exports. Fruit, vegetables, flowers and above all sugar cane and confectionaries have been the greatest beneficiaries of the tariff eliminations and reductions. Despite this lack of substantial change, the institutional arrangements and sub-committees created by the Agreement have been implemented. Civil society has also been involved in meetings of the Trade and Sustainability sub-committee, but resource and capacity constraints preclude smaller organisations from full participation in the process. Sadly, reports of the human rights situation in Colombia, in particular the plight of trade unionists, continue to be negative. Although the Government has made progress in legislative terms, the full implementation of measures at the local level remains incomplete and challenging.