At long last, Washington looks ready to pass free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Congressional ratification has been a long time in the making -- the trade agreement with Colombia was signed in 2006, while the agreements with Panama and South Korea were inked in 2007.
The trade deals with Colombia and Panama were, in some sense, part of a last-ditch effort by President George W. Bush to salvage the work put in by former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to create the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Hopes for that hemisphere-wide trade zone effectively died in 2005, mainly because Latin American countries preferred to direct their attention to the construction of trade blocs that excluded the United States. ...
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