print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > April 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 9, 2008

Just the Facts: Ensuring a Vote on the U.S. - Colombia Free Trade Agreement
President Bush Sends Congress Legislation To Implement U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Urges Bipartisan Support

"For the last 16 months, we've worked with congressional leaders to set a schedule for the consideration of the Colombian free trade agreement. While we'll continue to work closely with Congress, the need for this agreement is too urgent – the stakes for our national security are too high – to allow this year to end without a vote. By statute, Congress has 90 legislative days to complete action once I transmit a bill implementing this agreement. Waiting any longer to send up the legislation would run the risk of Congress adjourning without the agreement ever getting voted on."
– President George W. Bush, 4/7/08

For Over A Year, The President And His Administration Have Reached Out To The House And Senate Leadership To Build A Bipartisan Path For Consideration Of The Agreement:

  • 55: The Administration led Congressional delegations to Colombia for 55 Members of Congress so they could see the country's progress first-hand.

  • 144: Administration officials have delivered remarks educating the public about the benefits of free trade to U.S. workers in at least 144 cities throughout the United States.

  • 444: Since August 2007, cabinet and sub-cabinet officials have held at least 444 free trade agreement-related meetings or phone calls with Members of Congress including:

    • 265: At least 265 meetings with Democrats.

    • 179: At least 179 meetings with Republicans.

    • 27: At least 27 meetings or calls with Democratic Congressional leadership.

  • 160: USTR consulted with Congress 160 times in the run-up to and during negotiations as required by Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Has Received Overwhelming Support From Outside Sources:

  • 54: There have been 54 former high-ranking government officials, both Democrats and Republicans, who have signed letters supporting the Colombia trade agreement along with other free trade agreements.

  • 100: Newspapers have published approximately 100 op-eds and editorials favoring one or all of the pending agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea and the free trade agreement with Peru.


# # #