On Colombia and Trade, President Carter is Right

By August 20, 2008Trade

From an editorial in today’s Investor’s Business Daily, “Kudos For Carter“:

Trade: Never thought we’d say this, but Jimmy Carter finally got something very right. From Plains on Sunday, he urged Congress to pass the free-trade pact with Colombia. Fellow Democrats should take heed.

It was good to see President Carter assuring Colombian President Alvaro Uribe that he’d “prudently but effectively” try and persuade Congress to end its moratorium on free trade with Colombia. On his Web site, Uribe said Carter’s help “is going to be very useful.”

Along with offshore drilling, Colombia’s treaty has languished in Congress without a vote since April. Speaker Nancy Pelosi altered House rules to block a vote — and to advance Big Labor’s agenda.


The Weekly Standard has a piece on Venezuela’s aspiring leftist dictator, Hugo Chavez, noting his aggressiveness, which may, the author argues, be brought on by political weakness. From “Venezuela’s Weak Strongman“:

How should the United States respond? What we should not do is engage the Venezuelan populist in a war of words. Instead, we should take practical steps to strengthen relations with Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and other South American democracies. It is utterly shameful that Democratic House leaders have refused to schedule a vote on the U.S.-Colombia free trade deal. How can we treat Colombia so poorly and expect other countries to view us as a credible partner? If U.S. lawmakers understood how their rebuke of Colombia was hurting America’s image in the region, one hopes they would reconsider and approve the trade pact immediately. Beyond Colombia, Washington must stay engaged on a range of trade, energy, social, and security issues that affect South America. We must remember that, broadly speaking, the region is moving in a positive direction: Economic growth rates have been strong, living conditions have improved, and democratic institutions have been bolstered.

The latest from Venezuela: “Venezuela seizes Mexican-owned cement plants

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