Thursday, June 12, 2008

Perhaps The Democrats Will Support An Ally And American Workers And Consumers

Congress: Is the outlook improving on passing Colombia free trade? Apparently, yes. Monday, its trade minister noted a "good atmosphere" in Congress. If so, Democrats may finally be considering their own interests.

Plata called Canada's passage of its own Colombia free trade pact — concluded last Saturday — "a factor" that was getting Democrats' attention. As we noted last week, Canadians will eat our lunch with their own tariff-free goods, while American companies sit on the sidelines paying $1 billion a year in levies and lose business.

Let's not even bring up that Colombian companies selling in the U.S. already don't pay tariffs at all due to prior agreements — it's another thorn Congress can correct with a vote right away.

Two-way trade between the U.S. and Colombia today is $18 billion. The same between Canada and Colombia is $1.14 billion.

But because the U.S. and Canadian economies export similar goods — chemicals, grains, cars, car parts, petroleum products, plastics, and machinery — it's a slam-dunk that tariff-free Canadian goods will be an easy switch for Colombian buyers, losing American companies their markets.

IBD -- Breaking A Logjam

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