I don't have anything particularly insightful to say about the Colombia FTA recently submitted to Congress, so I'll just pass along some links (in no particular order):
George Will: "Under the Andean Trade Preference Act, passed by a Democratic Congress is 1991, the United States imposes tariffs on only 8 percent of imports from Colombia. But more than 90 percent of U.S. exports to Colombia are subjected to tariffs, some as high as 35 percent. The trade agreement would make this "one-way free trade," which now primarily serves Colombia's interests, more mutually beneficial. "
Kevin Gallagher: "The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade deal is one of the most deeply flawed trade pacts in U.S. history. It will hardly make a dent in the U.S. economy, looks to make the Colombian economy worse off and accentuate a labor and environmental crisis in Colombia. The Democratic majority in Congress is right to oppose this agreement and call for a rethinking of U.S. trade policy."
Dani Rodrik: "Virtually all of Colombia's exports enter the United States tariff-free, a fact that is advertised in the USTR web site to assuage US critics who worry about adverse employment implications in this country. But of course the same fact suggests Colombia is not getting much out of the proposed FTA either (or at least any more than what it could have gotten on its own)."
Ben Muse: "Congress is supposed to take action on a trade agreement negotiated under the trade promotion authority within 90 days of the date the president submits it. However the 90 day requirement just lies in the legislature's rules, and a legislature can change the rules it sets for itself. "
Dan Drezner: "The biggest benefit of the FTA with Colombia has little to do with economics and everything to do with our bilateral and regional relationships. Go back to NAFTA. Kevin is right to point out that the agreement's efonomic effects were not terribly large. On the other hand, even skeptics of trade liberalization -- Dani Rorik, Paul Krugman, and Joseph Stiglitz -- supported NAFTA because it locked Mexican economic reforms, promoted political reforms, and cemented a stronger bilateral relaionship. There's no reason to believe that the same effects would not take place with Colombia."
The Economist: "Killing the treaty would be a blow to Colombia and its leader, Álvaro Uribe, a staunch American ally in a region trending in the opposite direction. This week he issued a plea for America to maintain its long tradition of bipartisan policy towards his country and pass a measure that would help Colombia give its people alternatives to drugs and terrorism. If the deal goes down, the benefits of befriending the colossus to the north will seem less dependable across the continent, complicating American diplomacy there. And in America the FTA's death might shatter the long-standing consensus on free trade in Washington by emboldening protectionists."
Jonathan Dingel: "The US-Colombian free trade agreement is not a free trade agreement -- it's a preferential trade agreement. Calling it a PTA instead of an FTA will satisfy both Jagdish Bhagwati and Dean Baker."
And Todd Tucker is live-blogging the fast track debate.