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  • Guest Blogger: Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) on the Free Trade Agreement with Panama

    As the Ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I am committed to promoting the ideals of freedom, security, and prosperity. And yet we live in an era in which we are reminded every day that freedom is a fragile thing. Around the world, freedom is under attack every day. Many are rightly focused on the dangerous nuclear ambitions of Iran and the rising fundamentalism in Afghanistan. However, I have spoken out at great lengths about the threats to freedom and prosperity that are occurring in our own hemisphere.

    Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez—together with the likes of Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Cuba’s Castro Brothers, and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa—is spewing a populist, leftist, and strongly anti-capitalist brand of politics that threatens to undermine the economies of the entire region. For example, recent economic data shows that Venezuela’s economy will experience zero or negative growth in 2010. However, a nation such as Peru, which has embraced free-market principles, is projected to lead the region in economic growth in 2010.

    This information shows a simple truth that many recognize and agree with: countries that invest in free trade prosper. And countries that do not and close their borders and nationalize private property fail both their people and their economy.

    And it is because of this that I am personally committed to the two pending free trade agreements for the region: Panama and Colombia.

    Panama is a country that has been deeply committed to free trade. Panama’s newly elected leader, President Ricardo Martinelli, has been personally engaged in urging the Obama Administration to send the FTA to Congress. And, earlier this year, President Martinelli and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed an FTA. If the Obama Administration vacillates on free trade, make no mistake: we will be left behind as other nations work to lower tariffs, open borders, and increase the wealth and prosperity of their citizens.

    Panama is a strong ally of the United States. And an FTA with Panama would help keep both economies open, dynamic, and competitive. Panama understands this, and I hope President Obama also understands this before the Panamanians chose to leave the U.S. behind.

    The United States has always been the beacon of freedom and prosperity. Now is not the time to turn our back on free trade with our friends and allies. Freedom and free markets is the path towards long-term prosperity for the hemisphere.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Guest Blogger: Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) on the Free Trade Agreement with Panama

    1. Tim Az says:

      Mack's words ring hollow because he could not bring himself to include Mao-Bama and his band of extreme Anti-capitalist leftists here in America. Who are destroying Americans freedoms at breath taking speed. I guess he would rather get the invitations to the elitist's cocktail parties in DC rather than stand for freedom in America. This is not how to win elections in 2010 or 2012. Liberal republicans need not apply for the job.

    2. Don Renninger, Jacks says:

      Elimination of any trade barriers between countries with mutual concerns,is always a good idea. Benefits occur to both sides, as competition thrives.

    3. Greg Whiton, Longvie says:

      NAFTA was quite simply the beginning of the end for America as the Leading industrial country in the world. We were assured that American companies wouldn't pick up and relocate to other countries with friendlier tax and enviornmental policies, not to mention cheap labor. Of course that is exactly what happened and America is but a shell of her former glorious days. Greed, globalism and politicians delivering favors for foreign corporate giants in exchange for for campaign contributions and under the table sell out of America dollars. Who suffers, not Michael Moore!

    4. Linda Carlsbad, CA says:

      This administration is doing everything to ruin our economy. If it is good for the people, they don't do it. Of course they won't want free trade with Panama!They want us all to be poor and living off the government. That is the only way they can control us!But we are Americans, we are going to fight for our Freedom and Posperity!

    5. Lwesson, Tejas says:

      Just because you tack the heavy word, FREE, to something, Mack, that does not mean that it is now magically good by this slight of semantic hand. No doubt Mack you are a sycophant for the North American Free Trade Association? Frankly, watching out for the shareholders of corporations that export jobs to third would countries to maximize profit, reduce the burden of having to tend with US pollution and safety standards… should be criminalized. The CEO's of such companies should be forced to live with their families in these countries… .

      Rep. Mack, The United States is NOT some piece of Earth Dirt from which you base your company on, to exploit the system, to make money from. Our men and women who risk their lives fighting for this country are not doing so for the benefit of exposing our fellow citizens to more economic competition from THIRD WORLD PEOPLES. How odd it is to see more of this nonsense all from, yet again, a Republican. Nixon unleashed the sleeping dragon of China on us but that is NOT ENOUGH?!

      Please move to Panama or Columbia. I hear that the wealthy there have it really really nice.—- Regards from Tejas

    6. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Freedom is only as powerful as the strength of its Armies to defend it. With Obama and our Congress removing our Military Forces, what Freedom do we have?

    7. Pingback: Guest Blogger: Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) on the Free Trade Agreement with Panama « Free Trade Blog

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