Resolution - Support the “New” US-Colombia Fair Trade Agreement

Whereas, the US-Colombia Fair Trade Agreement will enhance the trade with the United States from an estimated 14.7 billion with imports at 8.7 billion and exports at 6.04 billion in 2006 to increase to over 1 billion dollars in exports, representing more jobs and economic development for the USA and Florida; and

Whereas, Florida is considered the number one port in the nation for international trade and commerce; the US-Colombia Fair Trade Agreement will level the playing field for US companies as 90 percent of Colombian exports are entering the United States duty free as the result of the Andean Trade Preference of 1991; and

Whereas, the US-Colombia Fair Trade agreement would provide reciprocal duty-free access for almost 90 percent of US exports to Colombia within five years, and it would ensure total free trade within ten years, in addition it will immediately remove duties of 53 percent of US trade with Colombia for US exports; and

Whereas, the US-Colombia Fair Trade Agreement has adopted stricter environmental and human rights laws presented in 2007 by congressman Rangel and agreed to enforce five core labor standards and the provision of seven multilateral environmental agreements, and subsequently Peru passed the US-Peru Free Trade agreement of 2007; and

Whereas, Colombia’s democratically-elected government has reduced kidnapping by 80 percent and overall homicide down by 40 percent, prosecutions and convictions have climbed for both union and n on union as reported by independent reports and the New York Times; and

Whereas, the US-Colombia Free Trade agreement will promote the economic development engine, promote stabilization, promote democracy, we therefore recognize that Colombia is an important economic geopolitical ally of Florida and the nation; and

Whereas, Colombians’ should maintain their right to organize and exercise their due process in Colombia, to have enforcement protection for labor rights, human rights and address the concern of employee benefits; and

Whereas, this addition will raise standards by providing adequate and human living wages and will not undermine domestic control of domestic policy and making and threaten environmental, health and food and safety standards; and

Whereas, any company exporting American jobs should not receive tax breaks, this does not include new companies establishing an entrepreneurial venture; and

Whereas, the Fair Trade Agreement shall not create huge trade deficit. This will be aided by the elimination of current tariffs American business currently pay which represents over 2 million a day; and

Whereas, the Colombia Fair Trade Agreement or any such agreement shall not result in the displacement of small Farmers; and

Whereas, the US Conference of Mayors and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators has endorsed and supported resolutions in favor of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement recognizing that the adoption of the FTA will represent more jobs and increased revenues to the USA.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that LULAC national supports the passage of the US-Colombia Fair Trade Agreement and hereby affirms to all members of the United States Congress its strongest endorsement of such an agreement; and request that the Speaker of the House allow for the US-Colombia Fair Trade Agreement be discussed and permit an Up and Down vote to be decided by the house membership.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be provided to the President of the United States, the Chairs and Ranking Members of the US Senate Finance and the US House Ways and Means Committee, the US Trade Representative, the Secretary of Commerce, The Secretary of Labor and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Approved this 12th day of July 2008.
Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President