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"For more than a year, my administration has worked with both parties in Congress to seek a path to bring this agreement up for approval. We continue to stand ready to negotiate a bipartisan way forward. But time is running out, and we must not allow delay to turn into inaction. The Colombia agreement is pivotal to America's national security and economic interests right now, and it is too important to be held up by politics. There needs to be a vote on Colombia this year.
And that means that members of the Congress must be ready to move forward with the agreement when they return from the Easter recess. Members of both parties should work with this administration to bring legislation to implement the Colombia agreement to the floor for approval, and they need to get the job done, and get a bill to my desk.
And I'll tell you why -- because this agreement with Colombia will advance our national security and economic interests, in these ways: Colombia is one of our closest allies in the Western Hemisphere. Under the leadership of President Uribe, Colombia has been a strong and capable partner, a strong and effective partner in fighting drugs and crime and terror. Colombia has also strengthened its democracy, reformed its economy. It has spoken out against anti-Americanism. This government has made hard choices that deserves the admiration and the gratitude of the United States."
-- President George W. Bush, March 12, 2008
Congress Should Show Support For Colombia's Important Advances To Combat Violence And Instability By Approving U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
"Colombia is one of our strongest allies in the Western Hemisphere. They are led by a very strong and courageous leader, President Uribe. He's taken courageous stands to defend our shared democratic values. He has been a strong and capable partner in fighting drugs and crime and terror. And he's delivering results. The Colombian government reports that since 2002, kidnappings, terrorist attacks, and murders are all down substantially, as is violence against union members."
President George W. Bush, 4/7/08
Colombia's Government Has Made Substantial Progress Reducing The Level Of Violence
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