Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two more reasons why a trade deal with Colombia is a bad idea

A trade deal with Colombia is a horrible idea for a lot of reasons. Here are two of the latest:

According to U.S. LEAP (the U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project), the violence against workers is getting worse, not better, in Colombia.

...violence against trade unionists is set to exceed the 38 assassinated in 2009, with 36 killings reported as of September 15.

Impunity for the 3,000 cases of civilian deaths at the hands of Colombian armed forces continues, death threats against Afro-Colombian leaders, unionists and human rights defenders have increased significantly, and Colombia’s intelligence agency (DAS) still operates in spite of allegations of widespread illegal surveillance...

And according to Public Citizen, so-called "free-trade agreements" like the one proposed for Colombia actually discourage U.S. exports.

Global Trade Watch found that the growth of U.S. exports to countries with which we don't have "free-trade agreements" is faster than the growth of U.S. exports to the 17 countries with which we do have these agreements.

Says GTW:

Last month, the corporate members of the President’s Export Council released a letter advocating for the passage of the Bush-negotiated Korea, Panama, and Colombia Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), claiming that passage would boost exports. They ignored the fact that the growth of exports to FTA partners has lagged behind exports to other countries, as we showed in our recent report.

It is possible that these corporations are pushing for FTAs since it would facilitate the export of American jobs rather than American goods.