[Ip-health] FT: Colombia invited to join OECD despite some US objections

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed May 30 04:31:44 PDT 2018


Colombia invited to join OECD despite some US objections

Gideon Long

MAY 25, 2018

Colombia has been invited to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD) despite serious objections from the US about its
commitment to protect copyright and intellectual property.

President Juan Manuel Santos said he received a phone call from OECD
headquarters in Paris on Friday morning confirming the move, which will
make Colombia the 37th OECD member and the third in Latin America alongside
Mexico and Chile.

“It’s great, great news for our country,” he said. “It’s like getting into
the best university but with the commitment to carry on studying and
getting top grades for the best of your life.”

Some lobbyists in Washington had argued that Colombia should be blocked
from the OECD, often known as the club of the world’s richest nations. In
April, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) downgraded Colombia
to its Priority Watch List, citing the country’s “longstanding failure to
make meaningful progress in fulfilling obligations” under US-Colombia trade
agreements. It said Colombia had failed to adequately amend its copyright

US steel producers were also angry that Colombia tried to exempt itself
from tariffs on its modest steel exports to the US.

​OECD membership marks a remarkable transformation for a nation that was
plagued by drug trafficking and guerrilla violence, putting it on the brink
of becoming a failed state at the start of the century.​ Mr Santos will
travel to Paris to sign an accession agreement next week.

Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org

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