|00:00:01||SPEAKER AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIRELESS COMMITMENT TO PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS.|
|00:00:06||I RISE IN STRONG OPPOSITION TO THIS RULE AND THREE PENDING TRADE AGREEMENTS.|
|00:00:12||THE BUSH-NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS EXPAND THE NAFTA TRADE MODEL WHICH IS DESTRUCTIVE TO THE AMERICAN ECONOMY AND HARMFUL TO THE WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ABROAD.|
|00:00:25||INSTEAD OF CONSIDERING A JOBS BILL, WE ARE VOTING ON TRADE DEALS THAT THE ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE ELIMINATES WILL ELIMINATE OR DISPLACE 200,000 AMERICAN JOBS.|
|00:00:39||IN PARTICULAR, I BELIEVE WE SHOULD NOT EXTEND ADDITIONAL TRADE PRIVILEGES TO COLOMBIA WITHOUT SEEING SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND IT IS NOT SUFFICIENT JUST TO SAY, WELL, COLOMBIA IS A DANGEROUS PLACE TO LIVE.|
|00:00:54||COLOMBIA HAS A LONG-STANDING LEGACY OF SERIOUS ABUSES AND DESPITE POSITIVE RHETORIC BY THE SANTO ADMINISTRATION, WE HAVE YET TO SEE IT.|
|00:01:08||IT INCLUDES LANGUAGE TO PUNISH ABUSES, BUT IT IS NOT LEGALLY BINDING OR NOR IS IT INCLUDED.|
|00:01:19||WE NEED TO SEE RESULTS BEFORE GRANTING PREFERENTIAL TRADE TREATMENT.|
|00:01:24||UNDER THIS AGREEMENT, IF VIOLENCE AND IMPUNITY CONTINUES, THE U.|
|00:01:30||S. WILL HAVE NO MECHANISM FOR HOLDING THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE UNDER THE LABOR ACTION PLAN.|
|00:01:37||HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES ARE NOT JUST A THING OF THE PAST IN COLOMBIA.|
|00:01:42||RECENTLY PUBLISHED STATISTICS SHOW THAT COLOMBIA IS STILL THE DEADLIEST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO BE A TRADE UNIONIST WITH 51 MURDERS IN 2010.|
|00:01:52||25 TRADE UNIONISTS HAVE BEEN MURDERED SO FAR IN 2011 AND 16 SINCE THIS LABOR ACTION PLAN WEPT INTO EFFECT.|
|00:02:00||AND THIS CYCLE OF VIOLENCE IS GOING TO CONTINUE BECAUSE THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT HAS MADE LITTLE PROGRESS TOWARDS PROSECUTING PERPETRATORS AND ENDING IMPUNITY.|
|00:02:14||THE ACTION PLAN REWARD PROMISES, NOT PROGRESS.|
|00:02:17||MR. SPEAKER, THE CONSIDERING OF ANY TRADE DEAL WITH COLOMBIA IS INAPPROPRIATE UNTIL WE SEE TANGIBLE AND SUSTAINED RESULTS.|
|00:02:28||AS THE AFL-CIO PRESIDENT HAS SAID AND THINK ABOUT THIS, HE HAS SAID, QUOTE, WE HAVE NO DOUBT THAT IF 51 C.|
|00:02:36||E.O.'S HAD BEEN MURDERED IN COLOMBIA LAST YEAR, THE DEAL WOULD BE ON A VERY SLOW TRACK INDEED, END QUOTE.|
|00:02:44||I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO OPPOSE THIS RULE AND THE THREE UNDER HIRING TRADE -- UNDERLYING TRADE AGREEMENTS.|
|00:02:54||I THANK YOU AND I YIELD|
Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. I thank you, Congressman McGovern, for your tireless commitment to promoting human rights around the world.
I rise in strong opposition to this rule and to the three pending free trade agreements. The Bush-negotiated Colombia, Panama and South Korea FTAs expand the NAFTA-style trade model that has proven destructive to the American economy and harmful to the workers in the United States and abroad.
Instead of considering a jobs bill, we are instead voting on trade deals that the Economic Policy Institute estimates will eliminate or displace an additional 200,000 American jobs. In particular, I believe we should not extend additional trade privileges to Colombia without seeing significant progress on human rights.
And it is not sufficient just to say, well, Colombia is a dangerous place to live. Colombia has a longstanding legacy of serious abuses; and despite some positive rhetoric by the Santos administration, we have yet to see a tangible improvement.
The recently agreed-to Labor Action Plan includes language to prevent and punish abuses against labor leaders and trade unionists, but it is not legally binding or included in the FTA before us today. We need to see results before granting preferential trade treatment.
Under this agreement, if violence and impunity continue, the U.S. will have no mechanism for holding the Colombian Government accountable to the promises in the Labor Action Plan.
Mr. Speaker, the fact is that human rights abuses are not just a thing of the past in Colombia. Recently published statistics show that Colombia is still the deadliest place in the world to be a trade unionist, with 51 murders in 2010, 25 trade unionists have been murdered so far in 2011, and 16 since this Labor Action Plan went into effect. And this cycle of violence is going to continue because the Colombian Government has made little progress toward prosecuting perpetrators and ending impunity.
The bottom line is this: The Labor Action Plan and the Colombia FTA reward promises, not progress. Mr. Speaker, the consideration of any trade deal with Colombia is inappropriate until we see tangible and sustained results. As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has said, and think about this, he said, ``We have no doubt that if 51 CEOs had been murdered in Colombia last year the deal would be on a very slow track indeed.'' I strongly urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this rule and the three underlying trade agreements.