President Obama’s weekend radio address built on his trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador to make the cause for expanded U.S. trade with Latin America. From the White House transcript:
Latin America is a part of the world where the economy is growing very quickly. And as these markets grow, so does their demand for goods and services. The question is, Where are those goods and services going to come from? As President, I want to make sure these products are made in America. I want to open more markets around the world so that American companies can do more business and hire more of our people.
Here’s a statistic to explain why this is important. Every $1 billion of goods and services we export supports more than 5,000 jobs in the United States. So, the more we sell overseas, the more jobs we create on our shores.
Absent from the President’s remarks is any mention of Colombia and the ever-pending U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Colombia boasts the second largest economy in South America, so its omission from the address stood out.
Last month, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) also traveled to Brazil and fittingly included Colombia in his South American journey. From the Finance Committee, Feb. 26, “Baucus Meets with Colombian President, Highlights Need for U.S.-Colombia FTA, Renewing Andean Trade Preferences“:
Washington, DC / Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. (continue reading…)