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July 7, 2008

Columbia Free Trade Question

-- by Dave Johnson

One of the main Republican talking points, repeated everywhere, is that trade with Columbia is one-way, so we need this "free trade" agreement. Bush, for example, recently said,

"Today almost all of Colombia's exports enter the United States duty-free, while American products exported to Colombia face tariffs of up to 35 percent for non-agricultural goods, and much higher for many agricultural products.

In other words, the current situation is one-sided. Our markets are open to Colombia products, but barriers exist to make it harder to sell American products in Colombia.

I think it makes sense to remedy this situation.

I think it makes sense for Americans' goods and services to be treated just like Colombia's goods and services are treated. So it's time to level the playing field. "

OK, my question is is Columbia allowed to send stuff here with no tariffs, while we can't sell stuff there?

Isn't the answer to impose the same tariff on Columbian goods that Columbia imposes on ours? I mean, duh? Wouldn't that bring us tax revenue, protect American jobs, and encourage Columbia to trade fairly? Duh?

Or is it just the policy of corporate America to let other countries get away with stuff?

Posted by Dave Johnson at July 7, 2008 11:18 AM

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I don't want to pay the higher prices that would result from a high tariff on Columbian goods. Why should I?

Please don't advocate higher tariffs, they hurt consumers. They hurt poor consumers the most.

BTW - you're ignoring the war on drugs. Columbia is always a special case. The drug war informs every aspect of the US relationship to Columbia.

Posted by: Jay Muntz [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2008 8:18 PM

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