The Washington Times - January 11, 2012, 01:50PM

A House delegation led by House Speaker John Boehner is in Colombia Wednesday on the second leg of a three-country Latin American trip focusing on trade, energy and economic security issues.

The delegation, which is scheduled to meet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, will review the implementation of the new bilateral free-trade pact — passed by Congress last fall — and hold discussions on the future of the U.S.-Colombia security partnership.


“From both an economic perspective and a strategic perspective, the partnership between our two countries has never been more important,” said Mr. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, in a statement. “We look forward to talking with President Santos and other Colombian officials about the future of this vital relationship.”

The seven-member delegation arrived in Brazil Sunday and will conclude with a stop in Mexico. The trip includes in-person discussions about trade and other economic security issues with senior government officials. The group also is examining security measures being taken by the three countries to modernize their societies and create a better environment for jobs and economic growth, the speaker’s office said.

Joining Mr. Boehner on the trip are Reps. Dave Camp of Michigan, Ways and Means Committee chairman; Doc Hastings of Washington, Natural Resources Committee chairman; John Kline of Minnesota, Education and the Workforce Committee chairman; Devin Nunes of California; Greg Walden of Oregon; and Dan Boren of Oklahoma. All are Republicans except Mr. Boren, who is a Democrat.