House starts FTA debate before adjourning

Democrats repeated their strong and well-known objections to the Colombia FTA, although many offered their support for the other agreements.

Democrats will have an extra chance to make their point against the Colombia agreement on Wednesday, when they will be able to offer a procedural motion that would send the agreement back to committee for further changes. That motion is not expected to pass, thus allowing the Colombia agreement to be approved.

Democrats argue that union violence is still prevalent in Colombia, making that country ineligible to benefit from a trade deal with the United States. However, passage of all the FTAs is expected, along with a bill reauthorizing the Generalized System of Preferences and the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

Members also briefly debated the GSP/TAA bill before adjourning shortly after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night.