The concerns of the U.S. government about a free trade agreement with
Colombia “are still valid”, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said
Wednesday, leaving little hope the pact will be passed shortly.
Gibbs, talking to reporters in the White House press room, said U.S. President Barack Obama’s concerns “with the Colombian free trade agreement and —
as it relates to labor and environmental standards being a core part of
those agreements — I think have been laid out extensively in the
The spokesman said the free trade pact would not be negatively affected by the Government’s economic recovery plan, but “the concerns that he and others have are still
valid around that trade agreement, and we certainly don’t want
discussions on that to get in the way of a recovery or reinvestment
plan moving ahead quickly.”
Obama has always been highly critical of the pact and demanded Colombia improved the situation of unionists in the country, before considering signing the pact. Former U.S. President George W. Bush unsuccessfully tried pushing a ratification of the pact during the last year of his term.