The New York Times | 10/30/2009 12:00:00 AM
U.S. Lawmakers See Trade Deal Chance After Healthcare
Oct 30--The White House and Congress could take up delayed free trade deals with Panama and Colombia once work on healthcare reform is done, two Democratic lawmakers who support the pacts, said on Thursday.
Obama has made an overhaul of the $2.5 trillion healthcare industry, which constitutes one-sixth of the economy, his top domestic priority.
Tanner said there were compelling national security arguments that make approval of the trade deals possible, despite the opposition of many Democrats.
Venezuela's move to restrict trade with Colombia over Bogota's decision to sign a defense security pact with the United States is one, he said.
Colombia, a close U.S. ally in South America, has received about $6 billion in U.S. aid since 2000.
Democrats control the White House and Congress and have been reluctant to push forward on trade deals that deeply divide their party.
President Barack Obama opposed the pact with Colombia and another with South Korea during last year's campaign.
He has also said he wants to work with Congress and the two countries to get them approved.
Read more here.
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.