The Governator and Commerce Secretary Gutierrez advocate for free trade in this Wall Street Journal Editorial:
Unfortunately, Congress has scuttled a vote on the first of the three FTAs, the Colombia agreement. Who gets hurt by this? American workers. Why? Because open trade provides more markets for the products they make, and because Congress has already given Colombian exporters duty-free access to the American market for more than 16 years. In the 538 days since the agreement was finalized, American exports have faced more than $1 billion in Colombian tariffs. All the FTA with Colombia does is provide American goods the same access Congress already gives Colombia.
A Free Trade Agreement with Colombia also has the added advantage of helping strengthen our strongest ally in the area. Turning Colombia into a Cubazuelan satellite is a high priority for Hugo Chavez as we have learned from the recent information being extracted from the hard drives recovered in the Colombian Army’s attack on the FARC terrorists who had fled to their Ecuadorian sanctuary where FARC second in command Raul Reyes was killed.
By choosing not to bring the FTA with Colombia to a vote, House Speaker Pelosi is aiding and abetting Chavez and the FARC by weakening Colombia. Denying Colombian businesses access to US markets and thus denying Colombian President Alvaro Uribe some much needed support, helps to strengthen Chavez’s and the FARC’s influence in the region and diminish the United State’s.
Read The WSJ Op ed here