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Michaud, Hare Respond to Reports Bush Administration May Submit Colombia FTA to Congress this Week

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Michaud, Hare Respond to Reports Bush Administration May Submit Colombia FTA to Congress this Week

Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME), co-chair of the House Trade Working Group and Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL), a member, today released the following statement in response to a report in "The Hill" that said trade lobbyists expect the Bush Administration to submit the U.S.-Colombia Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) to Congress this week.

"If the Bush Administration decides to unilaterally submit the Colombia FTA to Congress—this week or any other—we will work hard to convince members on both sides of the aisle to join us in opposition.

"Simply put, the Colombia FTA would be bad for America, Colombia, and workers around the world. It is based on the flawed NAFTA-CAFTA model which led to the outsourcing of millions of high-paying American jobs. To make matters worse, Colombia continues to hold the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous place in the world to be a union organizer. Thirty-nine trade unionists were murdered in Colombia in 2007. In the first three months of this year, an additional eight have been killed. President Uribe must end this violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"While we ultimately believe the Colombia FTA would fail on an up or down vote, we encourage the Democratic leadership to make it clear to the President that should he submit this legislation unilaterally, they will use all the tools at their disposal to ensure this unfair agreement is not enacted.

"With the U.S. economy on the brink of recession—63,000 jobs lost in February, an annual trade deficit over $700 billion, and foreclosures reaching all-time highs, the American people cannot afford another failed Bush trade agreement."

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