President Bush stepped up pressure Monday on Congress to approve a controversial free-trade pact with Colombia, saying the deal is "dead" unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi schedules a vote. After a meeting with his Cabinet, Bush said it's not in America's interest to "stiff an ally" like Colombia. Bush sent the agreement to Capitol Hill earlier this month, but the House, led by Democrats, decided to eliminate a rule forcing a vote on the deal within 60 legislative days. The House's decision probably kills consideration of the Colombia agreement this year, leaving it for the next administration.
"This free trade agreement is in our national interests," Bush said. Yet that bill is dead unless the speaker schedules a definite vote. This was an unprecedented move. It's not in our country's interests that we stiff an ally like Colombia and that we don't encourage our goods and services to be sold overseas.( He means not in his interest)" Pelosi, D-Calif., who initiated the rules change, blames Bush for submitting the agreement before a consensus was reached with congressional leaders on outstanding differences. She has said that whether the agreement is dead for the year depends on the good faith of negotiations between Democrats and the White House.
The president, Pelosi said Monday at a news conference, has demonstrated again "how out of touch he is with the concerns of America's working families." Responding to Bush's charges she had stiffed an ally, she said that "for seven long years the president's economic policies have stiffed" the American people. Bush has staked out free trade as one of his chief economic legacies, winning a bruising battle to implement the Central American Free Trade Agreement with six countries in Latin America as well as a number of individual pacts. While two other agreements with Panama and South Korea are also pending, analysts said the Colombia agreement is likely to be the last one that has any chance of winning approval in Bush's last year in office.
The administration insisted the deal would be good for the United States economically because it would eliminate high barriers that U.S. exports to Colombia now face, while most Colombian products are already entering the United States duty-free under existing trade preference laws. Trade also is shaping up as a key issue in the presidential campaign and in the fight for control of Congress. The administration charged that Democrats were forsaking a key South American ally while Democrats said Colombia needed to do more to halt the violence against union organizers before they would consider the trade pact. In explaining their opposition, Democrats have cited the continued violence against organized labor in Colombia and differences with the administration over how to extend a program that helps U.S. workers displaced by foreign competition. Bush Says Colombia Trade Deal 'Dead' Unless Pelosi Schedules Vote
Heritage Foundation: America Loses by Changing the Rules on Trade: Where the hell is this success they're talking about? Pelosi’s sudden desire to change the rules on trade agreements carelessly throws into doubt a process that has brought unprecedented economic prosperity to millions of Americans — and billions more worldwide. I don't get it? At issue: the proposed free-trade agreement with Colombia. President Bush, concerned that Congress would adjourn this year without acting on the agreement, formally sent the pact to the lawmakers April 8. This, in turn, started a 90-day clock for an up-or-down vote. The next day, Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives would void that timetable, likely delaying a vote on the Colombia deal until after the presidential election in November. The California Democrat vowed to set aside the "fast track" guarantee of the Trade Promotion Authority, under which the U.S.-Colombia agreement was concluded. Regrettably, the House on April 10 agreed 224-195, mostly along party lines.
Before that vote, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney had quickly praised Pelosi’s move, saying, "We applaud her for taking decisive action to reassert congressional authority over trade." But changing the rules in the middle of the game strikes at the integrity of the process, which includes elaborate international negotiations and much hard bargaining with foreign governments. If this maneuver stands, U.S. trade negotiators will have a far harder time persuading counterparts in other nations that they can deliver congressional approval of negotiated terms — even if Congress awards a future president renewed fast-track authority. Americans should expect far less favorable trade deals, as foreign negotiators lose faith that the United States will uphold our end and thus make fewer concessions of their own.
The beauty of the fast-track procedures — and the up-or-down vote within 90 says was a key provision — is that they provide an incentive for both sides to get to their bottom lines. Congress already had dealt another blow to the process last year, when it insisted on renegotiating trade agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama and South Korea to insert or "improve" provisions on labor and the environment. The Bush administration complied, raising eyebrows among trade negotiators around the world as they sensed core principles crumbling beneath their feet. Pelosi’s rules change could signal the end for the World Trade Organization. Its demise undoubtedly would be met with glee by the AFL-CIO, where Sweeney and other leaders seized on international trade as a convenient, if false, explanation for the union’s declining membership and influence. The AFL-CIO’s remaining grip on the Democratic Party apparently remains strong enough to insist that the rest of the economy share in the decline of Big Labor. Heritage Foundation: America Loses by Changing the Rules on Trade, Good!
Good! Not only can Iraq not survive any more of Bush's success, The middle east can not survive any more of his success. The world can not survive any mores of Bush's success. The average American can not survive any more of his so called success as most of us are just starting to feel. Look at a few of his past "successful Free Trade Agreements: What? Pelosi will doom our economy without another failed trade deal!
* This is the same workforce whose jobs are leaving America faster than we can calculate due to the unreliable dollar, NAFTA, CAFTA, The Columbian and Korean trade deals, our governments failure to make Mexico, our neighbor, the ally we have worked so hard at making other distant countries, our ten trillion dollar debt, and an utter failure in leadership by President Bush and the Republican Congress and Senate who helped him execute and carry out this litany of grand failures in leadership, the looting of our U.S. Treasury and the grossly failed attempt to privatize the Federal Government. How dare Pelosi Doom this success! Congratulations!