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Democratic Leaders, Rank and File Unmoved by Corporate Push for Expansion of NAFTA to Colombia

Statement of Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Division

Wal-Mart, Exxon and others already under scrutiny for dangerous imports or bad labor and environmental practices really must not care what American consumers think of them or else they would not dare to line up today to push a trade deal with Colombia, a country whose government is being investigated for connections to paramilitary death squads and is reviled worldwide for having the highest number of unionist murders.

The corporations pushing this expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to Colombia have shown that their greedy self-interest trumps even U.S. national security interests; this pact is projected to flood the Colombian market with subsidized agricultural products and displace tens of thousands of Andean peasant farmers, which in turn is predicted to result in increased illegal immigration, drug production, violence and social unrest.

After a majority of congressional Democrats just opposed a NAFTA expansion agreement with Peru, the CEOs must be borderline delusional to think that Congress would consider a NAFTA expansion agreement with Colombia, whose government has failed to halt, much less investigate, hundreds of unionist and journalist assassinations in which government officials may be implicated.