Larson blasts Colombia trade deal

Rep. John Larson said Thursday that he would “actively oppose” a free-trade deal with Colombia negotiated by the White House. Larson said the deal would be bad for workers in the U.S. and in Colombia, because Republican had blocked the inclusion of provisions aimed at improving labor rights in the deal.

Here’s Larson’s full statement:

“I am extremely disappointed that Congressional Republicans have prevented any meaningful reference to the Action Plan Related to Labor Rights in the Colombia Free Trade Agreement implementing legislation that we’re being asked to consider.

“Over the last several months, the Administration has worked diligently with the Colombian government to create a path forward for badly needed improvements in workers’ rights in Colombia.  While I believe that the “Action Plan” did not go far enough to address the harsh conditions faced by Colombian workers, it does have the potential – if properly implemented – to strengthen basic workers rights on the ground in Colombia.

“Improving Colombian workers’ rights is not only the right thing to do morally, it’s the right thing to do economically too.  The more the people of Colombia improve their lot, the more demand there will be for American goods and services.   It would be irresponsible for the United States to now backpedal and move forward without inclusion of the Action Plan in the implementing language.

“I will actively oppose the legislation in its current form.”