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US Congress turns its back on Colombia FTA

Business Times - 15 Apr 2008


US Congress turns its back on Colombia FTA

Bush administration suffers stinging defeat by the Democrats on the trade deal

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

A US trade association has published an advertisement in several Capitol Hill magazines in recent weeks in which Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is seen hugging Cuba's Fidel Castro while his speech balloon conveys his request: 'Please reject the Colombia Free Trade Agreement!'

In case you failed to get the message, the ad explains: 'Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez doesn't like the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement. He knows that it will strengthen our ties to Latin America, help a key ally and undercut his anti-American agenda.'

And if you still didn't get that, the ad then concludes by proclaiming that the Colombia Free Trade Agreement was 'good for America but bad for anti-American dictators'.

Yet despite the ad and a related massive public relations and lobbyi…