Responding to House Speaker Pelosi’s stated intention of vitiating the timeline for acting on the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, seven Cabinet secretaries appeared at a news conference this afternoon. Early reports…
‘There is perhaps no more important free trade agreement in recent memory,’ Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters at the White House.
Failure to approve the agreement would do ‘very serious harm’ to relations with Colombia, which she called ‘a country that is absolutely clear about its friendship with America.’
Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the nation’s influence in the region and the economy will be harmed if the Congress takes the unprecedented act of rejecting the accord completed 16 months ago.
“There’s perhaps no more important free-trade agreement in recent memory,” Rice said at a White House briefing that included other members of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet who sought to put pressure on lawmakers to ratify the accord.
Paulson said the agreement will make a “big difference” economically for both the U.S. and Colombia by maintaining the flow of trade between the two countries and shoring up U.S. credibility with other trading partners.
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