However, political violence in Colombia has sharply decreased over the past decade and objections to the trade deal have been criticized by Colombians and the Republican Party. Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who signed a Canada-Colombia agreement that entered into force in August 2011, accused opponents of trade agreements with the country of “obstructing Colombia`s development of prosperity,” adding: “We cannot block the progress of such a country for protectionist reasons and try to use human rights as a front to achieve it.”  Instead of presenting the certificate of origin, a free-form certificate may be used by Colombian producers and exporters, as well as by U.S. importers, if they certify that their products meet the requirements of the Colombian TPA. On the 12th It was passed by the House of Representatives 262-167 and 66-33 by the House of Representatives and the Senate 66-33 after the renegotiation of parts of the agreement. A programme to assist displaced workers called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) was also included in the bill.   In the first 10 months of the Santos government in Colombia, 104 labour and human rights activists were murdered. One category of human rights violations involves the assassination of more than 50 leaders of the legal left by paramilitaries and death squads, and sometimes accusations of multinational involvement have been laid. In some cases, this has resulted in damaging public accusations and even lawsuits for several U.S. and Canadian multinationals (including Dole, Coca-Cola, Drummond Coal, and Chiquita, formerly known as the United Fruit Company).
The Colombian mining union Sintraminercol claimed that many international mining companies already working in Colombia have a record of paramilitary cooperation and environmental neglect. The agreement has a hard time getting through Congress for years because of the persistence of these problems. Why Colombia? Colombia is already a strong trading partner for the United States and has the potential to be an even bigger place for business. Trade with Colombia provides increased economic opportunities for U.S. producers, workers and farmers. Colombia is a growing market for U.S. exporters and a good economic and political partner for the United States. In addition, our trade promotion agreement with Colombia helps advance U.S.
trade and policy goals in Latin America. New opportunities for U.S. workers, producers, farmers, and ranchers: More than 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia were exempt from tariffs upon entry into effect, with the remaining duties spread over ten years. . . .