The deal will be passed alongside free trade agreements with South Korea and Panama and a U.S. bill to help workers who lose their jobs as as result of foreign competition.
According to the White House, in his remarks during the ceremony Obama said “these trade agreements significantly boost U.S. exports and sustain tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.”
He added they also “protect labor rights, environment and intellectual property.”
Although the agreement will only come into force next year, Colombian Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo has called on sectors of the Colombian economy to begin preparations.
Restrepo said, “there are sub-sectors that face challenges and threats, like rice and dairy production, we have to work intensely to prepare ourselves to re-engineer these sectors in such a way that they are ready to compete.”
The minister added that certain government sectors also had to prepare to meet new standards, such as sanitary and customs requirements.