This story has two parts. First of all, take a look at this IBD article that explains how the USA was able to transition Colombia’s economy away from drug-trafficking with a plan called “Plan Colombia”. The Democrats deserve all the credit for this plan, because it was initiated by Clinton and supported by Joe Biden. It has been a huge foreign policy victory for the USA.
Let’s take a look:
…Colombia is no longer the narco-trafficking hellhole it once was, but a bright Latin American success story.
Plan Colombia not only went after traffickers, but also root causes of conflict, professionalizing the military and offering the population alternatives to trafficking.
IBD is hoping that the lessons we learned in Colombia can be applied in other places like Mexico and and Afghanistan, where similar drug-related problems abound. But wait! All is not well. For Obama has decided to undermine Plan Colombia by reneging on the last step of the plan. Obama is refusing to sign a free trade deal with Colombia!
But we don’t see how the reality of victory can truly be achieved so long as Congressional Democrats undermine the final step in Plan Colombia’s victory plan, which is free trade with the U.S.
It’s the last step in the process of offering an alternative development path, over drugs and terror. Protectionist Democrats in Congress, in hock to Big Labor cash, still refuse to allow even a vote.
That’s right. After all this work on Plan Colombia, we are about to throw away all the fruits of our labor by refusing to allowing American companies to sell to Colombia, and allowing American taxpayers to buy cheaper, higher quality Colombian goods. Free trade is good for us, good for them, and good for world peace. But I guess it’s not good for Obama’s special interest groups.
And this has implications for Afghanistan, a country desperately trying to break away from an economy based on drug-trafficking:
Worse, it has potential to undercut victory in Afghanistan. Afghanis can see how hard Colombians worked with Americans to make Plan Colombia succeed. They can see how the program addressed not only military tasks, but social ones, which end in free and legal trade with the vast U.S. market.
…For Colombia, the promise was the free trade that Democrats are now reneging on. Democrats are snatching defeat from the jaws of a victory they could claim as their own and extend to Afghanistan. All they have to do is keep their promises.
But Colombia isn’t about to take this garbage from the President-Teleprompter. They’re going to fight back! Check out this IBD article that explains what Colombia is trying to do to avoid rolling back all the progress they’ve made against the drug traffickers. They’ve hosted an international conference of bankers to try to diversify their economy.
Colombia asserted itself on the international stage last week, with the 50th annual governors’ meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank in Medellin. Some 6,000 bankers and businesspeople came.
…Corporate titans from Brazil, Spain, Japan, China and Germany were present along with the bankers, having invested $8.5 billion in Colombia in 2008.
But wait! One country barely even showed up! Which one? It’s the country that angers the world by opposing free trade. The country that was warned about its ignorant and destructive economic policies by former communist basket-cases like China and Russia. Who is it?
A few U.S. executives were present too, but the Americans seemed overshadowed by the others.
It isn’t surprising, because Colombia is rapidly moving to diversify its trading partners, signing deals with China, Japan, Korea, the European Union, Canada and Central America, following Chile’s model of signing free-trade deals with all comers.
The U.S., with its Colombia free-trade agreement still on ice in Congress, was the only country that looked isolated and out of tune with the world without its pact.
But the IBD article does end on a hopeful note: there are signs that the free trade deal may be back on the table. We can only hope.
This previous post I wrote links to an article by economist Robert P. Murphy, published by the Institute for Energy Research. The article warns about the dangers of carbon tariffs and the benefits of free trade. I highly recommend it to those who do not understand whyy free trade matters for our economic growth and prosperity. And that includes jobs.