From the 1960s to the 1990s,
President Alvaro Uribe took office in 2002, and since then, the country has undergone a remarkable transformation, reducing the illegal drug trade and violence and energizing its economy. Now,
One bright spot is the passage of a
A trade deal with
There is another reason why the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement should be approved — trade parity. Currently, 90 percent of
The power to create that level playing field for
“This agreement will advance
Under trade promotion authority granted to the president by Congress, the chief executive can negotiate trade agreements that lawmakers must approve without amendments or reject within 90 days of implementing legislation being sent to Congress.
Unfortunately, the U.S. House voted April 10 to reject the 90-day timetable, putting the
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have said they want a new, expanded Trade Adjustment Assistance Act approved before they will move on any FTA. The TAA is designed to compensate
Still other lawmakers have expressed outright opposition to a trade deal with
But President Uribe has addressed those issues by demobilizing 32,000 paramilitary fighters and by increasing funding for prosecutions to protect labor activists. He also responded to concerns about labor and environmental standards by revising the FTA to include some of the most rigorous protections in history.
The free-trade agreement with Colombia, like the one with Peru, would not be the United States’ largest nor most significant deal, but Congress’ failure to approve it will financially harm U.S. exporters, hurt prospects for future free-trade agreements and have significant consequences for Colombia’s economic and political stability.
Editor’s note: Sam Carney owns and operates Carney Farms in