• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Why the New FTAs Should Be Embraced

    It started almost five years ago with free trade agreements (FTAs) reached between the Bush Administration and the governments of Peru, Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Unfortunately, the then-Democrat controlled House allowed only the FTA with Peru to be approved. The other three were abandoned.

    Now, with the approval by Congress of the three remaining FTAs, some compelling benefits will fall on the U.S.:

    • Colombia has improved. Much of the delay on approving an FTA with Colombia was a result of the country’s negative record on human rights. But the Colombian government has thrown support behind the judicial branch and those who investigate human rights abuses, and it has created a new law that aids victims of the country’s civil war. With the FTA, greater strides toward development and stability are likely.
    • Latin American allies. With Venezuela on one side and Ecuador on the other, Colombia, as well as nearby Panama, is strategically important to the U.S. in tempering the anti-U.S. attitude in the region. The FTAs with Colombia and Panama are important tools in ensuring productive, cooperative relationships between the U.S. and these Latin American countries.
    • Boost U.S. markets. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, within a year U.S. exports to Colombia alone will increase by at least an estimated $1 billion. U.S. goods that currently face high tariffs in Panama will become more competitive. U.S. companies themselves will be more competitive as new opportunities are opened to them. This means that nearly 250,000 new jobs will be created. While that might not seem like enough to put a dent in unemployment figures, consider that 400,000 jobs could have been lost if the FTAs had not been approved.

    Despite long delays and tedious critiques, the FTAs with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea will finally be given the opportunity to make some much-needed changes in the U.S. economy and in U.S. relations with Latin America.

    Jen Gieselman is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. Click here for more information on interning at Heritage.


    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.