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By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
Topic - Eric Farnsworth
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Florida Gov. Rick Scott told a crowd of Venezuelans in Miami on Friday they are urging the U.S. government to instate sanctions against the South American country where nationwide protests against President Nicolas Maduro have turned deadly.
President Obama on Friday signed the nation's largest free-trade agreement since NAFTA — and the first of his administration — with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
Now that Congress approved the long-delayed free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama on Wednesday night, trade experts want lawmakers to harness the momentum and turn their attention to other potential deals in what is seen as a way to boost the economy and create jobs.
The top Democrat on the House's key trade panel said Monday that Colombia must take more steps to improve the workplace environment for unions before he will support a stalled pact with the Latin American country.
Colombia is offering international companies $200 million to make the Internet available to its businesses and consumers, which is good news for U.S. companies coming on the heels of the White House's announcement that a free-trade agreement has been completed with the Latin American nation and will soon be sent to Congress for approval.
The White House's better-late-than-never approach to three trade agreements doesn't cut it for trade groups that say American businesses are quickly losing ground to global competitors.
"Looking at it in the context of international diplomacy, and trying to find a path forward in a very complicated scenario, you don't want to do things prematurely that could make things look worse," he said.
Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society think tank, said he understood the frustration that has been expressed by some in the Venezuelan community that the U.S. should more sharply denounce the violence in Venezuela.