March 13, 2008


Bush Signals Intent to Force Vote in Congress This Year on Colombian Trade Deal (STEVEN R. WEISMAN, 3/12/08, NY Times)

The Bush administration signaled Wednesday that it would defy the wishes of Congressional Democrats and force a vote this year on a free trade agreement with Colombia, hinting that it would try to gain support for the pact by stoking fears of anti-American sentiment in the region.

“The Colombia agreement is pivotal to America’s national security and economic interests right now, and it is too important to be held up by politics,” President Bush told an audience of Hispanic business leaders here. “There needs to be a vote on Colombia this year.”

By itself, the Colombia pact would not have a major impact on trade, but it has become one of the administration’s international economic priorities, along with other deals with Panama and South Korea.

Such trade pacts can be useful to the GOP in pitting Hispanics against Labor and sundering the Democrat coalition.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 13, 2008 9:44 AM
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