President signs off on Colombian trade pact

President Laura Chinchilla ratified the Costa Rica-Colombia traded treaty Monday in a ceremony at Casa Presidencial. That was the last step in approving the controversial treaty.

Ms. Chinchilla called the agreement very valuable and said it would strengthen relations between the two countries.

The president also put in a plug for the  Alianza del PacÌfico and said she hoped that Costa Rica would become a full member of that trade bloc.

The Chinchilla administration has been aggressive in making trade treaties with other countries. Luis Guillermo SolÌs, who takes office Thursday, has said he wants to go slow with such agreements. He opposed the trade treaty with the United States and the other Central American nations.

Even if SolÌs supports another treaty, the chances are slim that it will be approved by the new legislature.

The Colombian agreement was controversial because some Costa Rican business leaders through that the South American nation would undercut prices here. They worked against approve. But the legislature finally voted in favor of the agreement.

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