Thursday, March 05, 2009

FTAs on the front burner

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says that the administration wants to move forward on FTAs with Panama and Colombia (in addition to South Korea). The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says the same, though the deals will have to be re-examined. And by the way, who writes for the USTR? Wrap your tongue around this one:

“It will be necessary to correct the imbalance in the current negotiations in which the value of what the United States would be expected to give is well-known and easily calculable, whereas the broad flexibilities available to others leaves unclear the value of new opportunities for our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” the report said.

So we'll see. There is not much congressional resistance in principle to an FTA with Panama, but obviously Colombia generated a lot of controversy last year. No one has yet said how it would be made more palatable to get the votes. However, the bulk of the Colombia debate took place before the economic crash, so it is likely that support for free trade in general will have eroded in the meantime.


King Politics 10:04 AM  

Let's hope that economic instability does not lead to overly sensitive protectionist sensibilities. The last thing we need to Smoot-Hawley redux.

Greg Weeks 11:05 AM  

A big difference, though, is that not passing an FTA means tariff levels remain the same. Smoot-Hawley meant raising them.

Vicente Duque 6:07 PM  

Latin American needs the "Backyard Neighbors" ( The USA ) in order to succeed economically. But Trade is a two ways road.

The most modest anaylysis reveals that Americans can be an excellent addition of dollars to Latin America, as tourists and consumers of many products, mainly industrial and also agricultural.

A very humble and modest example :

Agricultural Analysis shows that America is very efficient and superior to some Latin Tropical Countries in producing Cereals. And that was decreed by God, Nature, Soil and Climate. And other factors help this reasoning, for example : Superior Science, Technology, Universities, Capital, Resources, etc .... available in America.

On the other hand some of those same Tropical Nations are superior to the U. S. in the production of vegetables, fruits, exotic and delicious delicatessen in gardens, flowers, vegetal decorations, insects, toads, frogs, snakes, etc...

And that was also decreed by God. Please note that I am talking only of "some" countries of Latin America and not all of them, and only some of the Latin Tropical Countries.

In industry, Energy, Services, etc .., you may find complementarities.

Trade is a two ways road :

Hate is useless to succeed economically. Ideologies and Partisanship do a lot of harm on both sides of the Western Hemisphere. Anti Imperialism on the South, and Anti Latinos in the Northern part are just Simply Idiotic.

Protectionism is a dead end. It is the worst that can happen. Since Mr Obama is Intelligent, Cerebral, Rational and Pragmatic. I thing that he is going to change course.

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque 5:25 PM  

Gregory Meeks, Democrat, House Representative from Queens, New York
Member of the House Financial Services Committee
Meeks chairs the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade
Member of the House International Relations Committee

Elected in 1998, Congressman Meeks has been re-elected four times by an overwhelming mandate by the people of New York’s 6th congressional district and enjoys a reputation as a consensus builder.

Today, Congressman Meeks fights, first and foremost, for policies that strengthen America’s working families.

As a Member of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Meeks has promoted policies for economic empowerment, which is what he termed as the "next civil rights movement". Whether it is access to capital, homeownership, wealth accumulation or economic development, the Congressman has been a steady and consistent champion on this important committee that has jurisdiction over all banking, securities and insurance issues. Congressman Meeks was recently appointed to Chair the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade.

February 26, 2009

Congressman Gregory Meeks at a TradeRoots event on 23 February 2009 in New York City on the importance of trade with Colombia.

More Information and Videos of Mr Meeks asking for Trade with Colombia here :

Vicente Duque

sharon 5:16 AM  

thanks for the information....

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