Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative-designate looks on as he is nominated by United States President-elect Barack Obama at a press conference Friday afternoon, December 19, 2008 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

Throughout last year’s campaign, President Barack Obama expressed skepticism about the value of free trade, sending signals that America’s commitment to free markets would die with his administration. These fears were only worsened when the Obama administration passed an Omnibus spending bill that has already caused a job killing trade war with Mexico.

But now there is a glimmer of hope. Politico reports:

During the [Summit of the Americas], President Barack Obama directed U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to lead a review of the ultracontroversial Colombia deal to “identify and work through any outstanding issues we might have so we might move forward with that,” Kirk said Monday in a conference call with reporters. “And that process will begin immediately.”

“President Obama believes very strongly, as do I, that Colombia is a very important ally for the United States,” Kirk said of the potential trading partner that labor unions and other activists have declared unworthy of a trade pact until it cleans up violence against unionists.

Colombia has made “remarkable progress” in addressing that violence, Kirk said.

Violence in Colombia is one of the bigger lies big labor has been hiding behind to stop the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. If the Obama administration is now ready to suddenly declare that Colombia is magically doing better on that issue now that Obama is in office, that’s fine with us. Whatever it takes to get these trade agreements past big labor is fine with us.