Tech industry group hails Colombia free trade agreement

The leader of a prominent technology industry group praised the free trade agreement with Colombia that will be finalized Thursday.

The White House announced the agreement Wednesday despite objections from the AFL-CIO. President Obama and Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos will meet at the White House to formally announce the deal.

“Expanding trade with Colombia will give U.S. tech companies a competitive edge in that region while strengthening free markets, enhancing stability and fostering democracy," said TechAmerica CEO Phil Bond.

"We commend the Obama administration for its hard work to conclude this negotiation and strongly urge Congress to promptly approve this and the other pending Free Trade Agreements with Korea and Panama."

According to the TechAmerica Foundation, high-tech exports to Colombia grew 22 percent between 2009 and 2010 to a total of $1.87 billion. U.S. high-tech exports to Colombia have grown 125 percent since 2004, resulting in a high-tech trade surplus of about $1.84 billion.

The White House has set a goal of doubling exports by 2015, with a particular focus on helping U.S. firms tap growing markets for technology and industrial goods in Asia and South America.