At least somebody in North America is still showing leadership on free trade. Unfortunately for U.S. consumers, it is not Congress which still refuses to approve free trade deals with Colombia and South Korea. But Canada is still forging ahead, inking a deal with Colombia earlier this month and Peru in May. With virtually every editorial board in the nation recognizing the economic gains from free trade with Colombia, liberal protectionists in Congress have fallen back to citing human rights abuses as the reason for their opposition. Canada’s government had this to say on the issue:
But Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn said in the release Canada’s increased involvement in Colombia will ensure that progress is made in the area of workers’ rights.
“This agreement, like the one that was signed by our government in Peru last week, contains some of the most comprehensive labour provisions to be found in any agreement anywhere in the world,” he said. “As the Colombian government moves forward to strengthen labour rights after a difficult past, Canada will be there to help.”