An op-ed in the Boston Globe makes an amazing observation about the Colombia free-trade pact. US markets are already open to Colombia; this effect of the agreement (which the Democrats oppose) is to open Colombia’s markets to us:
The agreement, which President Bush sent this week to Congress for an up or down vote, essentially makes permanent the trade preferences that Colombia has had for 17 years. What is new is that the treaty opens the Colombian market to US exports. . .
The Colombian government is making the bigger sacrifice because a permanent agreement removes uncertainty for investors. Trade, combined with US support for Colombia’s military and justice system, have helped Colombia beat back a leftist insurgency, largely demobilize right-wing paramilitaries, and spark a boom that has reduced poverty, unemployment, and the economic weight of drug mafias.
So the Democrats (including both Obama and Clinton) are opposing this agreement for no reason whatsoever other than demagoguery.
UPDATE: Even the New York Times sees it.