Earlier this month House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sidelined legislation to ratify the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States and Colombia. Pandering to her protectionist friends and Democrat campaign bank-rollers, the trial lawyers and labor unions, Speaker Pelosi subverted long-standing House rules to block, and effectively kill, the FTA. At a time when America’s economy is hurting, it makes no sense for the Speaker of the House, along with Arizona’s freshmen representatives, Harry Mitchell and Gabrielle Giffords, to block legislation which would increase American competitiveness, increase jobs and help get our economy back on track.
The President and/or his designee(s) are the only persons, by law, allowed to enter into agreements, treaties, etc… with foreign countries. What President Bush and U.S. Trade Ambassador Susan Schwab have done is successfully extend working trade relationships with several countries including the aforementioned Colombia as well as Peru and South Korea. These countries have entered into good faith agreements with the United States which would benefit not only the economies of each of the respective countries but the people as well.
Right now, our trade system is flawed. The U.S. encourages imports but exports are discouraged. Goods from Colombia are imported into our country free of tariffs but U.S. companies are hit with high tariffs when exporting products to Colombia. The majority of the companies which export to Colombia are small and medium sized business. The FTA would eliminate these tariffs and level the playing field for American job providers.
Yet, despite the benefits to American companies and workers, Democrats including Gabrielle Giffords and Harry Mitchel, led by Nancy Pelosi, are bent on allowing our stature in the world dissipate into nothingness. By failing to bring the Colombia FTA to a full up or down vote on the House floor, Democrats have turned their back on America’s allies throughout the world.
The Democrats have no other explanation for their stance other than the fact they are pandering to big labor and trial lawyers. To date, 67 editorials have been penned supporting not only a vote for the FTA but outright passage of the deal. On the other side, 0 editorials have been published in opposition to the deal. The Los Angeles Times, not the most conservative of papers, said in an editorial entitled Pelosi Plays Politics on April 12th,
"Halting the vote wasn't about the U.S. economy and it wasn't about Colombia. It was politics. That's to be expected from Washington in an election year, but Pelosi's partisan considerations should not override her national duty. She should schedule a vote on the agreement, and Congress should approve it."
Rather than fight for American jobs and boosting the American economy, Mitchell and Giffords are kowtowing to Speaker Pelosi and the elitist left. The labor unions and trial lawyers who fund their campaigns came out against the Colombia FTA and they followed suit. Giffords and Mitchell know who butters their bread and their not afraid to show it. It’s time these two freshmen members start putting Arizona businesses and families first. Call on Speaker Pelosi to bring the Colombia FTA to the floor for a vote. No more perverse subversion of House rules for political purposes. It’s time to take a stand for America.