McClatchy Newspapers - WASHINGTON — Setting up an election-year showdown with Democrats, President Bush on Monday sent Congress a controversial free-trade pact with Colombia , forcing an up-or-down vote within 90 legislative days.
"By acting at this critical moment, we can show a watching world that America will honor its commitments," Bush said. "We can provide a powerful rebuke to dictators and demagogues in our backyard. We can expand U.S. exports and export-related jobs. We can show millions across the hemisphere that democracy and free enterprise lead to a better life."
Most tariffs on U.S. exports would be cut to zero after the agreement goes into effect. Colombia , South America's second most-populous nation, already enjoys duty-free access to the U.S. market, thanks to a special arrangement that's renewed periodically.
The Colombian trade deal also has divided Latin America among nations that embrace free trade with the United States — including Mexico , Peru , Chile and most of Central America — with those like Venezuela that say free trade produces more poverty.
In May 2007 , the Bush administration and the Democratic congressional leadership struck a deal to include more labor and environmental provisions in trade texts. That cleared the way to pass a pact with Peru. But Democrats argued that Colombia needed to do more on human rights.
RLCC Comment: How much longer do we have to listen to these lies. Who's the dictator in our backyard? Bush is lying. He's referring directly to Hugo Chavez who is not a dictator and never has been and doesn't want to be. He overthrew a dictator who was supported by neofascists in the U.S. government hellbent on carrying out laissez faire capitalism (unbridled corporatism) on the backs of the Venezuelan peoples.
I don't agree with everything Hugo does, but he's a better leader by far than is George W. Bush. Hugo actually cares about the poor.
Bush calls himself a Christian, but he does everything the exact opposite from what Jesus wants. Even when Bush is talking about doing something that sounds good, he has always turned out to have an ulterior motive.
George, are you ever going to turn? Please turn.
I'm not judging and condemning George. I want no punishment for anyone about anything. I only want universal repentance and forgiveness. George must be warned, and others must be warned away from George's twisted path. It's the Golden Rule, because I would want to be warned.
, obtained via: , April 7, 2008, 10:43am