Bush couldn’t get Congress to move on free trade with Colombia, but maybe Obama can:
At the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Mr. Obama asked to be seated next to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and the pair discussed the deal, U.S. officials said. During his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama had voiced opposition to the pact, citing violence toward labor organizers in Colombia. The deal, which would allow free trade between the two nations, is awaiting ratification in the U.S. Senate and has already been approved by Colombia’s congress.
Since taking office, Mr. Obama has struck a more-positive tone on free trade than he often did during the campaign. He and aides have spoken out against protectionism, and in Mexico last week he declined to raise the question of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, despite a pledge to do so last year.
One nice thing about having a Democrat in the White House is, it seems to lessen Congressional resistance to free trade pacts. Keep your fingers crossed Obama will succeed. Colombia has proven a remarkably patient ally, given the treatment they’ve received from Reid & Pelosi.