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Sutton, Kaptur, most Democrats oppose Bush’s plea for the U.S.-Colombian FTA

Washington, D.C., April 7, 2008: Congresswomen Betty Sutton (OH-13) and Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) issued the following statements on the decision by George W. Bush to force action on the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA):

Sutton: “I strongly oppose the U.S.-Colombia FTA and will fight this harmful deal. Not only is it a continuation of bad trade policy, but it ignores the gruesome human rights and labor rights violations which have plagued Colombia.

Kaptur: “It is unconscionable that the president wants to force a trade agreement with a country rife with corruption, violence, discrimination, and civil war.”

Betty Sutton

On a national level, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—Democratic presidential candidates—oppose this FTA, while presumptive Republican candidate John McCain supports Bush’s plea for passage.

Both Sutton and Sutton are also opposed to NAFTA and CAFTA, which have drained many jobs from the Midwest.  

In a press release, Sutton stated: “Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world for union and labor organizers, who are simply fighting to improve the lives of working families and communities in the country.  Since [Colombian] President Uribe came to office in 2000, over 400 trade unionists have been killed.  In 2007 alone, 72 union members were assassinated.

“It makes no sense to push a FTA with a country that seems to ignore the continued blatant violations of basic human rights.  How can a trade agreement be beneficial when the workers in one of the countries involved lack basic labor rights and are punished and often killed for their involvement in union activities?  We should not even be considering a trade agreement with Colombia until this horrific violence ends and those responsible for the murder of thousands are brought to justice.”







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