U.S. presidential candidate for the Democratic Party Barack Obama is opposing the free trade pact between Colombia and the U.S. for the wrong reasons, says Colombian senator Alexandra Piraquive.
Piraquive opposed the treaty in the Colombian senate, but not because of labor rights.
“The things that are bad about the proposed treaty are the U.S. subsidies on agricultural products, the bad agreements made on intellectual property and protection of the enviroment,” says Piraquive in an interview with Colombia Reports.
Labor rights and the lack of protection of unionists is a problem, but a Colombian problem, said the senator. Using that argument to oppose the treaty is a policial fight between U.S. political parties and not relevant for the free trade pact, she said. “The E.U. and Canada also never saw this as an issue to approve the treaties we made with them. besides, the U.S. also isn’t perfect when it comes to human rights.”
Addressing labor or human rights during trade talks is not helping a fair deal between developed and development countries, the senator continued.
“Countries that supposedly are helping Colombia are using false arguments to weaken the position of Colombia in the trade negotiations. In the end it is not Colombia that benefits from these treaties, but the countries that already have a strong economy,” said Piraquive.