The New York Times joined other prominent U.S. newspapers in a call on
Congress to approve the free trade agreement with Colombia in an
editorial. Earlier newspapers that called for the ratification of the
pact were the Miami Herald and the Washington Post.
“We don’t say it all that often, but President Bush is right: Congress should pass the Colombian free-trade agreement now,” the editorial starts.
NYT states the trade agreement “would be good for America’s economy and workers. Rejecting it would send a dismal message to allies the world over that
the United States is an unreliable partner and, despite all that it
preaches, does not really believe in opening markets to trade.”
The newspaper calls on the Democratic majority in Congress to approve the bill in its last session before President-elect Barack Obama takes office. This so called lame duck session will be held next week and the trade pact has not been put on the agenda.
NYT says it does share the Democrats concerns about human rights violations committed by Colombian President Álvaro Uribe’s government, but states opposing the trade pact would be denying the progress made.
“Failing to approve this trade agreement would do nothing to improve
Colombia’s human-rights record. Walking away from it now would alienate
many people in Colombia and undermine Washington’s credibility,” the newspaper concludes.