Trade-Offs: Why the Colombia FTA Should Pass Regardless of TAA

Capitol Hill Briefing
April 11, 2008 12:00PM
B-369 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Daniel T. Griswold, Director, Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute, and Sallie James, Trade Policy Analyst, Cato Institute.

In May 2007, congressional leaders agreed to consider free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Korea, Panama, and Peru if they were accompanied by additional labor and environmental standards. In the wake of the December 2007 U.S.-Peru FTA passage, key congressional leaders now demand substantial expansion in the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program before considering the other three FTAs. But can TAA expansion ensure enactment of the other agreements? Is it a trade-off worth making? And why are these particular bilateral trade agreements important to American interests? Finally, should the White House use the fast-track rules to force Congress to vote? Please join Cato Institute trade scholars Daniel Griswold and Sallie James for a discussion about why expansions of free trade should not be held hostage to a domestic welfare program.