Colombian Ambassador: After Health Care, Free Trade Agreements

Aug 20--For at least a couple of months, free-trade agreements negotiated during the Bush administration have appeared stuck in Congress.

And that’s not only because health care and cap-and-trade have sucked all the air out of the room in terms of what gets discussed in the House and Senate. Democratic opposition to the pending Colombia, Panama and South Korea agreements has also seemed to deflate the wishes of Ron Kirk, President Obama’s trade representative. After taking his oath earlier this year, Kirk delivered a number of speeches suggesting that the administration planned to move aggressively on the FTAs. More recently, however, Kirk has been far more subdued on the matter. Moreover, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez in Washington yesterday, and the subject of trade didn’t even come up, according to one of her aides.
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