Colombia - The Politics in the Air
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On March 10th it was said of the Colombia trade agreement:
"what they [the White House] don't understand it's not the facts on the ground, it's the politics that's in the air."
The Chamber's Bruce Josten yesterday echoed the prudent words of Arthur Vandenberg who once advised that "politics must stop at the water's edge". Unfortunately we still see the same discredited political arguments disguised as fact used against the Colombian agreement; as evidenced yesterday on the AFL-CIO blog. Fortunately both of the comments on the post pointed out its inaccuracies, even better, neither of them was me. Here is the first comment on their post:
Your comments quote political statements but ignore the facts. Colombia, with U.S. aid, has demonstrated sustained results during the Uribe administration on reducing anti-union violence. (Don’t forget that the country has been suffering a civil war for many years.) So much progress, in fact, that the murder rate for labor activists in Colombia is lower than the murder rate in Colombia as a whole and in major U.S. cities, including Washington, DC, and Baltimore.
Also, Speaker Pelosi and you fail to point out that the House, under her leadership, has voted twice during the last 12 months to extend tariff-free access for goods from Colombia, while U.S.-made goods face tariffs there. By refusing to hold a vote on an agreement that would open the Colombian market to the manufactured products of U.S. labor, she is NOT helping American workers. Export growth is what has kept this country out of recession until now. Just when we need to keep it going, Pelosi is taking a very wrong turn and American workers, union members and non-union, should know that. The logic is as plain as the nose on your face.