Colombia is seeking not only a free trade deal with the United States,
but is hoping to have some 45 trade deals by the end of this
government’s term in two years, Colombian President told investors in
“At the beginning of our administration we had signed free
trade agreements with four countries. By the time we finish our
administration we plan to have agreements with 45 countries; of
course we need the agreement with the United States,” Uribe said.
Uribe said the main ideological arguments against a deal
with the United States are that it would hurt workers, small
businesses and the environment. He said, however, “These are
not true,” as each country has introduced provisions to protect
In addition, Colombia has introduced provisions in the
social chapter of the agreement to protect small enterprises
and the environment, he added.
US President George W. Bush meanwhile, meeting with Western Hemisphere
leaders, called for US lawmakers to approve trade pacts with
Colombia, Panama, and South Korea “as soon as possible.”
important that these agreements be passed as soon as possible,” said
Bush, who has expressed frustration over election-year inaction on the
accords, which are stalled in the Democratic-held US Congress.
important for the American people to understand that exports benefit
workers. Half of our growth last year was the result of trade. And
therefore, it’s in our interest to continue to open up markets,” he