Condoleezza Rice wrote a terrific editorial today on our close ally, Colombia.
She is urging the US to take action on the Colombian Free Trade Agreement. Back on April 10th of this year, in an unprecedented move, Speaker Pelosi squashed the free trade agreement with staunch American ally Colombia.
It should be noted that more than 90 percent of Colombian goods now enter the United States duty-free, while our exports to Colombia face tariffs of up to 35 percent. Pelosi’s fellow Americans were the ones hurt by her political decision.
Real Clear Politics posted the letter today:
With the momentum of more than a decade’s worth of shared progress at our backs, with Colombia on the cusp of self-sustained and lasting stability, and with Democrats and Republicans having shown that they can implement a long-term bipartisan strategy to achieve a critical national interest – the success of a democratic Colombia – now is the last time that we should begin going back on our word to Colombia. And yet that is exactly what we risk doing if Congress fails to pass the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
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In addition to being a slap in the face to our Colombian partners, sacrificing this trade agreement at the altar of domestic politics would be no favor to U.S. workers. More than 90 percent of Colombian goods now enter the United States duty-free, while our exports to Colombia face tariffs of up to 35 percent. This agreement would level the playing field for our workers, so they could send the products of their labor to Colombia on the same terms that Colombians now send theirs to us.
Passing this trade agreement will be a culmination and realization of our partnership with Colombia. It will help the Colombian government and people to lock in their democratic and economic reforms. It will signal that Colombia, like a growing number of our fellow democracies in the Americas today, is a reliable place to invest and poised to compete effectively in the global economy. It will affirm that the future of our hemisphere belongs to democratic citizens, of the left and the right, who want their elected leaders to govern justly and lawfully, to expand economic freedom and trade, and to invest in their people. And it will send a message across the world that the United States will honor the promises we make to our friends and allies.
Colombia has stood by us. We have stood by them. And we have succeeded together. Now is not the time to jeopardize the fruits of our partnership, but to consolidate them. Now is the time to keep our word to Colombia, just as they have kept their word to us. Anything less is no way for a great nation to conduct itself – and no way to repay a faithful partner.
There were reports that Speaker Pelosi was sending messages to FARC terrorists while at the same time undermining the Colombia trade agreement.