Columbia says rejection of a free-trade accord by Congress would amount to sanctions. Here’s what you need to know.
President Bush believes Colombia has made enough progress to warrant a free trade agreement, but Democrats are strongly opposed to the plan, explains Tim Seymour. The president sent Congress a trade pact but Dems are allied with unions who blame free trade for the loss on thousands of jobs and chose to stall it.
"When we send up a trade agreement, we never know quite frankly how it's going to play. But no congress has ever defeated a trade agreement," said U.S. Trade Ambassador Sue Schwab.
The deal would allow the U.S. to export most products to Colombia duty-free. Right now, most Colombian exports enter into the U.S. without tariffs, but it doesn't work the other way.
Democrats say Colombia does not deserve the deal because it has not done enough to curb violence and protect labor activists. The president counters that denying the trade agreement sends a signal that the U.S. will not support its allies.
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