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| 6/16/2009 12:00:00 AM

Colombia's pitch for free trade

Jun 16 -- During his visit to Canada this past week Colombian President Alvaro Uribe made a strong pitch for speedy ratification of the Canada/Colombia free-trade deal. His appearance before the Commons trade committee was the first for a foreign head of state, and he submitted to a 100-minute grilling by Members of Parliament, some hostile.

That willingness to face down his critics spoke volumes about his eagerness, or desperation, to seal the deal.

Despite the clashes, Uribe headed home "confident" that the pact is on track for approval, the newspaper El Espectador reported. Maybe so, but not any time soon.

Parliament rises this coming week for the summer break. Before signing on, Michael Ignatieff's opposition Liberals are pressing, rightly, for more study on how the deal stands to affect Colombia's trade unions, human rights activists and indigenous peoples. This debate is nowhere close to being over, nor should it be.
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

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