Textile and fabric exports from the US to Colombia have surged 28% to $98m in the two years since the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement came into effect.

According to an update from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the government of Colombia has also made "meaningful progress" under the Action Plan Related to Labor Rights, including a significant reduction in the use of illegal cooperatives, passage of new labour laws to strengthen worker's rights, and increased hiring and training of police investigators and prosecutors to address violence against unionists.

But USTR also acknowledged that "much important work remains" to build on this progress.

Proexport, the Colombian government's trade promotion agency, said the number of companies exporting to the US for the first time doubled during the second year of the agreement - with textiles and apparel among the industries that have seen the most new exports.

The free trade agreement came into effect on 15 May 2012, eliminating trade barriers on over 80% of US exports of consumer and industrial products, with remaining tariffs phased out over defined time periods.