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Specifically, he was impressed with Colombia for taking steps to improve protection of threatened workers and unionists, creating laws that impose criminal penalties for anti-union activity, and increase the number of investigators assigned to labor violence cases.

The problem is Republicans don’t want to recognize an Action Plan on Labor Rights that details the steps Colombia needs to take to improve the workplace environment, he said, which is “totally unacceptable” and a major cause for delaying Democrat support.

“I think it’s important that everybody understands that they’re here to stay,” he said. “Worker rights and labor rights are an important part of trade agreements going forward.”

Mr. Levin began supporting the trade deal with South Korea several months ago, after the Obama administration renegotiated the terms, because it will help close the trade gap, particularly in the auto industry, between the U.S. and that country.

He has also shown support for the Panama agreement, since it made concessions on May 10 regarding worker rights and tax haven concerns.