The Washington Times - December 3, 2013, 12:54PM

The recently enacted free-trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia has led to immediate economic benefits for both nations, President Obama said Tuesday after a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Since the agreement went into effect last year, American exports to Colombia have shot up by about 19 percent, while more than 1,300 Colombian businesses have begun to ship goods to the U.S. for the first time, according to the administration.

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“That creates jobs in Colombia and that creates jobs here in the United States of America,” Mr. Obama said after the meeting, which also focused on energy, security and other matters of mutual concern for the two nations.

The free-trade pact with Colombia went into effect in May of last year. It was negotiated while President George W. Bush occupied the White House, but wasn’t passed by Congress until 2011.

The Colombian deal was passed alongside similar agreements with South Korea and Panama.