U.S. – COLUMBIA TRADE PROMOTION AGREEMENT – CONGRESS GETS SOME GUTS

Finally, Congress exhibited its long absent intestinal fortitude – guts – to stand up to the administration’s incessant scare tactics surrounding free trade agreements, notably the U.S. – Columbia Trade Promotion Agreement. Congress or should I say the Democrats – with a few exceptions – took action to delay the implementation of yet another lopsided and unfair free trade agreement.

H. Res. 1092 passed this week in Congress states as follows:

Resolved, That section 151(e)(1) and section 151(f)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974 shall not apply in the case of the bill (H.R. 5724) to implement the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.

The sections mentioned detail time constraints under which free trade agreements are to be considered by Congress under the Free Trade Agreement Act of 1974. That Act required that Congress take up consideration of trade agreements 90 days after they are received from the White House. The recently-passed Resolution removes that timetable and allows delay in consideration of the Agreement.

The Indiana house congressional delegation voted on an expected partisan line with Visclosky, Donnelly, Carson, and Ellsworth voting to delay consideration and Souder, Burton, Pence, and Hill voting to take up the bill immediately. Buyer did not vote, and Hill was the lone Indiana Democrat to jump ship and side with the Republicans.

The Administration continues to use statements such as “helping an important ally in South America is in the political and security interests of the United States.” Absent from Bush’s yammering on security and political interests is any hint of how, once again, American workers will be benefited rather than hurt by another free trade agreement.

Free trade agreements are nothing more than corporate gifts from the administration. And, while many administrations have entered into these agreements over the past, the effect has now become painfully obvious. The agreements require few, if any, reciprocal efforts in the areas of environmental protection or human rights violations. Corporate powers-that-be are the beneficiaries of the following policy that can be found at the government’s export website:

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) can help your company to enter and compete more easily in the global marketplace. Trade agreements help level the international playing field and encourage foreign governments to adopt open and transparent rulemaking procedures, as well as non-discriminatory laws and regulations. FTAs help strengthen business climates by eliminating or reducing tariff rates, improving intellectual property regulations, opening government procurement opportunities, easing investment rules, and much more.

The informational description contains no reference to how FTAs help American workers. The reason? FTAs do not help our workers. When the statement says “trade agreements help level the international playing field, what actually occurs is that American job losses increase through outsourcing.

As a final note, the new agreement is called a “trade promotion” agreement rather than a “free trade” agreement. The change in terminology is simply an exercise in semantics. A rose is a rose is a rose, and a trade agreement is a trade agreement no matter how you disguise it.

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Business, Consumer Affairs, Economics, Free trade, Globalization. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to U.S. – COLUMBIA TRADE PROMOTION AGREEMENT – CONGRESS GETS SOME GUTS

  1. outsider222 says:

    Good post. And to be honest, I actually DO feel pretty bitter, disillusioned and hopeless about the state of America. In fact, I’ve already turned to religion. With what we have in Washington, God is our only hope.

    I used to have guns, but now I hunt with a camera.

    Obama was very accurate, intelligent, courageous, and RIGHT in his recent controversial comment.

    (And Hillary Clinton has finally proven herself as the true monster that the Obama worker pointed out)

  2. trollfighter says:

    I second that! 😉

    I’ve never been so disgusted with a Washintonian’s’ behavior before. She even makes Cheney look like a girlscout.

    What a flaming low life bimbo.

    (Poor thing…)

  3. trollfighter says:

    Oops…here’s my logo.

  4. its not free trade if I cant have the colombians ship a bale of marijuana to me, via fed ex, or ups- for my own personal use, on my own private property.
    I dont see how it benefits average americans- maybe mark “drug crusader” souder, and we all know Marks an idiot..

  5. Charlotte A. Weybright says:

    Okay – Guys:

    I am not quite sure how you jumped to trashing Hillary from the post, but all senators who were running for president at the time of the Columbia – U.S Free Trade Agreement back in December posted a “no vote.” That included Hillary and Barack.

    Obama was not correct in his recent “bitter” comment. He assumes that when people get disenchanted, they suddenly cling to their religion and guns. That is so off the mark, it is laughable. Religion and guns are a part of many people’s lives – they just don’t magically appear during times of alienation or disappointment.

    Obama showed a classic misunderstanding of how people build intrinsic and extrinsic values.

    I have been disappointed many times in my life, and, yes, I would say on an occasion I have felt bitter. But I didn’t go out and buy a gun or start going to church to solve the issues.

    Obama’s remarks were elitist, and they were condescending.

  6. carole detherage says:

    I think that the tag ‘elitist’ is wrong as much as saying small town america is all bitter. i will say that i can be bitter. i try not to be but i often am. and its true that i start to get more spiritual when things are going badly.. why is that such a big deal?
    and lets face it. that was supposed to be a closed meeting. if we heard all the things clinton, bush/cheney and mccain say behind ‘closed doors’ i imagine we would get quite a earfull.
    i would be happy with either clinton or obama. i think both will be good for america. but i do see obama as being a leader that will be able to inspire this country do the hard work that we will need to do. clinton is great and i respect and admire her, but she is nearly as contentious as bush is. nearly as many people hate her as hate bush. just a different 50%.
    All this i say is my opinion, but i think that by ‘buying’ into the media’s attempt to make this a bad reality show we are just hurting ourselves.

    carole detherage; a
    progressive in california

  7. Hi Carole:

    The fact that it was a closed meeting tells me even more about Obama. Apparently, he thought he was “safe” in making the comments. He acknowledged that he chose his words poorly. I think he meant what he said – he just got caught saying it so he had to back paddle and try to think of some way to cover himself.

    I will, in the end, support whoever is chosen. What many are forgetting is that the next president will probably get to appoint at least one Supreme Court justice and possibly two.

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