Honolulu Star Bulletin | 11/14/2008 12:00:00 AM
Editorial/Congress should ratify Colombia trade agreement
Nov 14 -- A modest trade agreement with Colombia has been resting on the steps of the Capitol awaiting ratification since April, and time is running out.
Opponents of free trade agreements have blamed them for causing the export of U.S. jobs. For that reason, Obama has opposed a free trade agreement with South Korea for giving it freer access to American markets and has said he will negotiate changes in the North American Free Trade Accord to address various issues.
Opponents of the Colombia pact have expressed concern about the killing of trade unionists by right-wing paramilitary groups. They note that 197 unionists were killed in 2001 and only one conviction was obtained. Although the country remains dangerous, the situation has improved since the election in 2001 of President Alvaro Uribe. He has increased protection and the number of convictions has risen. Last year, 39 trade unionists were killed and 36 assailants were convicted.
Read the full editorial here.