Colombia needs to resolve
a number of outstanding concerns before Congress will approve a free
trade pact with the country, a U.S. lawmaker said on
The United States would benefit economically and geopolitically from
the agreement, but “there are also outstanding issues
that must be resolved before passage can occur,” Representative Sander
The Michigan Democrat chairs the House of Representatives Ways and
Means trade subcommittee, which plays a key role in congressional
consideration of trade agreements.
Levin said he planned to take a fact-finding trip to Colombia before leading a broader congressional delegation later this year.
The administration of former President George W. Bush negotiated the agreement but was unable to get Congress to pass it before it
The Obama administration has said it hopes to work with Congress to establish
“benchmarks” for progress on the pact.
Colombia must amend its labor laws to comply with International
Labor Organization standards and take other steps to ensure more
murderers of trade unionists in that country are brought to justice,
Any benchmarks set by the United States and Colombia to address the
violence concerns must be “enforceable” to prevent backsliding, he said. (Reuters)