Colombia, America’s strongest ally in the hemisphere, needs the Free Trade Agreement with the US finalized. The agreement will end tariffs paid by US producers selling to Colombia, and will also send a message of support to the anti-Chavista forces in the region.
This week Colombian President Álvaro Uribe is visiting Pres. Obama. Uribe of course brought up the subject, only to be served a waffle:
U.S. President Barack Obama expressed hope that Congress would eventually approve a long-delayed free trade agreement with Colombia, but said that country needed to make more progress on human rights first.
“There remains work to do. But I’m confident that ultimately we can strike a deal that is good for the people and good for the people of the United States,” Obama told reporters after a meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
In remarks in the White House Oval Office, Obama said he did not have “a strict timetable” for submitting the trade deal to Congress because he already had a busy legislative agenda this year and needed to consult with lawmakers first.
The Wall Street Journal struck an optimistic note: “Obama Is Optimistic About U.S., Colombia Free Trade Deal”, which reminds me of the old line “I’ll call you tomorrow”, but Drudge was less kind than I, calling Obama’s reaction “the evil eye.”
You don’t expect the FTAs with Peru and South Korea are going to be finalized any time soon, do you?
In today’s podcast at 11 AM Eastern, I’ll talk about about Cristina Fernandez‘s losses in last Sunday’s Argentinian Congressional election.
Post corrected for a major typo