Colombian Free Trade Agreement Vote – April 11, 2008

Posted on April 11, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |


http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/story/491439.html

A vote in the House likely killed the possibility of a U.S.-Colombia free-trade deal this year.

The Miami Herald article explains it very well.

It underscores the loss of Bill Clinton’s influence in the Democrat Party, since it was Democrats who voted against it while Republicans voted for it. Only ten Democrats joined Republicans voting in favor of the bill. Both Hillary and Obama came out against it in an effort to appease voters in Pennsylvania. Labor unions want Colombia to arrest and try the murderers of union workers in Colombia.

“The Colombia free trade deal, in my view, is not appropriate because of the history of suppression and targeted killings of labor organizers in Colombia. There is an argument that there has been some improvement and change by the Colombian government but it is not enough for me,” Hillary Clinton

That’s odd because both Clinton’s were QUITE CHUMMY WITH CHINA during the Clinton presidency and that country is NOT noted for its fair treatment of anyone! Yes, it’s true that Hillary went to the Women’s Coference in China during her husband’s first term and spoke sternly about China’s treatment of women. But that pales in contrast to the photo ops of both Clintons shaking hands and chumming up to Chinese citizens who handed them loads of cash.

“Bill Clinton took aim at the Chinese government over human rights during his first White House run — but removed human rights standards from China’s Most Favored Nation requirements and became the first U.S. president to visit the country since the Tiananmen Square crackdown. ” http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/09/clinton.colombia/

Congressional Record: Time Line of Clinton-China Decisions and Soft Money Donations

http://www.fas.org/news/china/1998/h980618-prc8.htm

This, you gotta read!

While the Chinese government denied all accusations, twenty-two people were eventually convicted for fraud or for funneling Asian funds into the United States elections. Wikipediahttp: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_United_States_campaign_finance_controversy

Specifically, Chung testified under oath to the U.S. House Committee investigating the issue in May 1999 that he was introduced to Chinese Gen. Ji Shengde,N-[4] then the head of Chinese military intelligence, by Liu Chaoying. Chung said that Ji told him: “We like your president very much. We would like to see him reelect [sic]. I will give you 300,000 U.S. dollars. You can give it to the president and the Democrat Party.”[28] Both Liu and the Chinese government denied the claims.[29]

Chung was eventually convicted of bank fraud, tax evasion, and two misdemeanor counts of conspiring to violate election law.[30] Chung asserts that, after his guilty plea, the Chinese government attempted to assassinate him with “hit squads” three times, but the efforts were foiled by the FBI.[31] (same Wikipedia article)

Hillary seems to be conflicted in deciding when human rights matter and when they don’t. Colombia is working with the U.S. to combat the influx of drugs into America and wants to have both friendly and business relations with us. This arrangement should be nurtured, to prevent Colombia from ever becoming too cooperative with Venezuela.

In 2005, U.S. goods exports to Colombia totaled nearly $5.5 billion. Two-way goods trade between the United States and Colombia during 2005 amounted to $14.3 billion. As a result of the agreement, the United States will have greater access to the Colombian market for products such as machinery, information technology equipment, auto parts, and fertilizers and agro-chemicals, along with meat, poultry, dairy products, grains, soybeans and soybean products, cotton, fruits and vegetables, and processed foods.

Many products from Colombia already enter the U.S. market duty-free under the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA), which expired on December 31, 2006. This new agreement helps Colombia to expand its current access and lock in duty-free treatment for Colombian products. Building on ATPA, the agreement will ensure that U.S. products exported to Colombia likewise benefit from duty-free treatment.

I wonder if Colombia will demand a refund from Bill Clinton.

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