Foreign Policy Blogs

One-Two Punch for Free Trade with Columbia

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote in today's Wall Street Journal on the free trade proposal with Columbia:

"It is not every day that our government, with one bold stroke, could strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. workers; support a democratic ally on the cusp of achieving lasting national success; weaken those who would sow instability and autocracy in our hemisphere; and send an unequivocal signal to the entire world that the United States is a confident, capable global leader that acts not only in its own interest, but in the interest of its friends.

All of this is what we can gain if Congress approves the free trade agreement that our administration has negotiated with Colombia The fate of this agreement raises even larger questions: How does the U.S. treat its friends, especially when they are under pressure and attack? Will we remain engaged as a global leader or will we pull back unilaterally? Will we define our role in the world by confidence in our own principles or by capitulation to unfounded fears?"

Her counterpart in the Defense Department argued similarly in the Miami Herald:

"In summary, the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will help a neighbor and longtime ally continue putting its house in order under very difficult circumstances. It offers a pivotal opportunity to help a valued strategic partner consolidate security gains, strengthen its economy and reduce the regional threat of narco-terrorism. This is an opportunity we cannot — and must not — ignore."

I urge our readers to read both.