Monday, September 07, 2009

Uribe's third term

I've written many posts on the efforts to give Alvaro Uribe a third term. Although there has been a lot in the news recently, I didn't have much to add (for recent stuff see Steven Taylor). Andres Oppenheimer, however, adds a new angle. If Uribe gets it, then he will find it even more difficult to work with the U.S. Congress.

Another well-placed congressional source told me that a third Uribe term ``is going to make our ability to make progress on the U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement -- and broader funding on [the U.S. anti-narcotics aid] Plan Colombia -- difficult. Many Democrats see Uribe as a human-rights violator who is turning into something like a little king.''

I'm not sure whether a third term would really put the kibosh on a free trade agreement, but there is no doubt that the FTA faces an uphill battle and so every vote counts. Uribe's quest for power will overshadow (and possibly damage) his policy goals.

12 comments:

Benjamin N. Gedan 4:50 PM  

I disagree with Oppenheimer's oddly hyperbolic analysis.

Despite President Obama's warm reception at the Summit of the Americas, the U.S. still has few dependable allies in Latin America. I doubt that the reelection of President Uribe, who has managed to win billions in U.S. aid during his two terms and even scored an invitation to the White House in June, would seriously damage U.S.-Colombian relations.

The FTA with Colombia may very well fail. But in the deliberations, protectionist impulses will greatly overshadow any concerns about Uribe's reelection or human rights in Colombia.

Justin Delacour 6:11 PM  

But in the deliberations, protectionist impulses will greatly overshadow any concerns about Uribe's reelection or human rights in Colombia.

How does that explain why a Peru-U.S. trade agreement passed but a Colombia-U.S. trade agreement has not?

I agree with you that there's more to this than Uribe, but the fact that Colombia kills more trade unionists than any other country in the world doesn't help it in the "free trade" sweepstakes.

Greg Weeks 8:04 PM  

Yes, if you argue that protectionism is the key independent variable to explain defeat of FTAs, then you need to explain why it affects some countries differently than others. If protectionism held constant, then no FTAs would ever be passed.

Vicente Duque 9:56 AM  

Canada, France, Germany, Chile, Argentina, etc ... are eyeing this Business.

They can produce these cereals and agricultural machinery at very cheap prices and get better tariffs ( thanks to free trade agreements with Colombia )

Read the USA Export Numbers, McCain complained about Trade Agreements in the Freezer in a debate against Obama. He complained of Recklessly abandoning sales to Colombia.

11.5 billion of dollars ( eleven billion and a half ) .... exports from USA to Colombia ( a great part is cereals agriculture )


Corn 690
Wheat 331
Soybeans 118
Animal Feeds 133
Oil Seeds 73
Cotton 67
Other Foods 46
Other Agricu 45
Agriculture Machinery 32
Met poultry 29
Bakery 29
Fruits 21
Farming 18
Vegetables 11
Dairy 9
Sorghum, Barley, Oats 7

U. S. Census Bureau
U.S. Exports to Colombia
from 2004 to 2008
By 5-digit End-Use Code

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c3010.html


Congressman Wally Herger

09/09/2008 "Clock is Ticking on U.S.-Colombia Fair Trade Agreement"
(Published in The Hill on September 9, 2008)

http://herger.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=447&catid=53

Canada signed a trade agreement with Colombia. That means that Colombia will buy tractors, mining equipment, and fertilizer from Canada, France, and Germany instead of from Illinois, Georgia, and Texas. Without a U.S.-Colombia agreement, American farmers will remain at a disadvantage. In Colombia our farmers currently face an average tariff of 20%. The fair trade agreement would make 93% of American agricultural exports to Colombia duty free within ten years, which would increase our farm exports by nearly $700 million annually.


Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque 10:16 AM  

From Wikipedia.org

Please Note that all the Agricultural Products mentioned here are U.S. Exports to Colombia :


Key Provisions of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_%E2%80%93_Colombia_Free_Trade_Agreement

Market Access
Upon implementation, the agreement would eliminate duties on 80% of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia. An additional 7% of U.S. exports would receive duty-free treatment within five years of implementation. Remaining tariffs would be eliminated ten years after implementation. Colombia will join the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which would remove Colombia’s trade barriers to information technology products.

In agriculture, the agreement would grant duty-free treatment immediately to certain farm products from both countries, including high quality beef, cotton, wheat, and soybean meal. Other products that would receive immediate duty-free treatment are key fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, peaches, and cherries, and many processed food products, including frozen french fries and cookies. Some other products would receive improved market access; these include pork, beef, corn, poultry, rice, fruits and vegetables, processed products, and dairy products. The United States and Colombia worked together to resolve sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade in agriculture, including food safety inspection procedures for beef, pork, and poultry. These commitments are reportedly written in two separate side letters on sanitary and phytosanitary measures that would be attached to the FTA.

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

leftside 1:15 PM  

Frankly, I don't think the potential lawful establishment of a third term should have any effect on a trade agreement, or anything else. What should wory Congress, is putting their stamp of approval on a regime implicated in many of the most serious human rights abuses the region has seen this decade.

Justin Delacour 8:06 PM  

Frankly, I don't think the potential lawful establishment of a third term should have any effect on a trade agreement, or anything else. What should wory Congress, is putting their stamp of approval on a regime implicated in many of the most serious human rights abuses the region has seen this decade.

That's pretty much my view as well. I don't see much that distinguishes a first-term Uribe from a third-term Uribe. Moreover, I doubt there would be any difference between a third term with Uribe and a continuation of his politics under somebody like Juan Manuel Santos.

What matters is what people think of the kind of politics that Alvaro Uribe represents.

Anonymous,  8:44 PM  

Uribe is among the most popular presidents in Latin America. Unlike Lula, his popularity is mainly based on policies he implemented (Lula is the beneficiary of the world commodity upcycle). If you talk to Colombians across the country you realize pretty soon why he is so popular. He is the first president to give the country the hope that the disaster of narcoterrorism may finally be conquered.

Of course, US-based leftists, who have no clue what is it to grow up in a country racked by violence everywhere, disagree. Luckily, and I can't say this enough, such people have no role in policymaking and, with any luck, never will.

What is it about Latin America that people with such little knowledge of the region feel so comfortable opining about it?

Greg Weeks 9:05 PM  

True. "U.S.-based leftists" like key Colombian industrial leaders and the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo make arguments about how Uribe should not run for another term. But these Colombians are, of course, well-known U.S. leftists.

Anonymous,  10:04 PM  

Greg,

That's quite a different argument. It's one thing to say that Uribe should not run for a 3rd term, an argument I agree with. It's quite another to claim, as some of your posters do, that Uribe is the president with the worst human rights record in the region, ignoring how much he has done to finally get rid of the narcoterrorism that plagues the country.

Justin Delacour 11:11 PM  

What is it about Latin America that people with such little knowledge of the region feel so comfortable opining about it?

I'm not sure. Perhaps you could answer the question by telling us why you opine so much about Latin America politics in spite of your poor knowledge of it.

Vicente Duque 11:22 AM  

I agree with Andres Oppenheimer.

The USA invented a New type of Democracy ( different from the Greek, Roman or Venetian variants ) ...

And the Latin Americans have tried incessantly to imitate it. The copies have failed many times because of the curse and shame of Militarism, Golpism, Demagoguery, Populism, and the Military Barracks of the Militarotes and Gorilotes, the practicioners of Vulgarity and Total Verbal Intemperance of Aggression against Neighbors, the USA or whatever Bogeyman and punching bag ...

It was Thomas Jefferson that said that People repeating constantly in power would ruin Democracy and Freedoms.

Mr Uribe can retire as a Victor in a War against the Sadism, Brutality, Murder and Terror of the FARC ... the FARC aided by the neighboring Despicable Military Barracks, plus their Tropicalism, Demagoguery, Imbecility, Vulgarity and Gross Populism of Despicable Militarotes.

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP