U.S. Democratic Representative Sander Levin traveled to Colombia Wednesday for a “fact-finding mission” regarding a free trade agreement (FTA) between the U.S. and Colombia.
The visit of Lewis (D-MI), an opponent of an FTA with the Andean nation, comes days after Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and John Barrosso (R-WY), both in favor of a free trade pact, paid a visit to Colombia.
Representative Sander Levin’s “purpose is essentially a fact-finding mission to observe first-hand conditions relevant to the Colombia FTA,” a spokeswoman for the lawmaker told press agency Reuters.
“It will provide an update on those conditions on the ground today in comparison with those he observed during a similar trip 21 months ago,” she added.
Levin has so far opposed the pending trade pact because he thinks Colombia should do more to stop violence against labor union members and more aggressively try to solve crimes committed against unionists in the past.
Levin until recently was chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade agreements.
The representative planed to meet with Colombian government officials, union leaders and representatives from the Colombian and U.S. business community.
The free trade pact was signed by Bogota and Washington in 2006, but has so far not been ratified by the U.S. Congress over concerns about human and labor rights concerns.