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

April 11, 2008

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.


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