Despite Speaker Nancy’s Pelosi’s (D-CA) best efforts to kill American leadership on free trade, Investor’s Business Daily sees hope for the Colombia Free Trade Agreement yet:
In a release on Colombia’s presidential Web site, Trade Minister Luis Guillermo Plata said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson advised him that efforts to persuade congressional Democrats to hold a vote on the long-stalled pact were starting to look up. Such a vote could be held as soon as the interim between November’s election and the inauguration of the next president.
As we noted last week, Canadians will eat our lunch with their own tariff-free goods, while American companies sit on the sidelines paying $1 billion a year in levies and lose business. Let’s not even bring up that Colombian companies selling in the U.S. already don’t pay tariffs at all due to prior agreements — it’s another thorn Congress can correct with a vote right away. Two-way trade between the U.S. and Colombia today is $18 billion. The same between Canada and Colombia is $1.14 billion.
But because the U.S. and Canadian economies export similar goods — chemicals, grains, cars, car parts, petroleum products, plastics, and machinery — it’s a slam-dunk that tariff-free Canadian goods will be an easy switch for Colombian buyers, losing American companies their markets.