The Congressional delegation that spent the weekend visiting Colombia on a trip co-hosted by acting Ag Secretary Chuck Conner and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab has returned. The trip was designed to move the pending free trade agreement with Colombia forward. Schwab says it was a very interesting trip and from what she heard the members got a lot out of the trip.
"It means there are another handful of folks who can go back to Capitol Hill and tell their colleagues what they saw and what they did," Schwab says.
One of the members of the delegation was Representative Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee. He says he was impressed by the economic, political and social changes happening in Colombia and thinks Congress should ratify the free trade agreement.
"It's something that the Congress should take up and debate thoroughly and examine thoroughly," Goodlatte says. "But my instinct tells me that if we are already allowing this country's products into our country and we are able to eliminate the tariff on our goods, we ought to take that step."
Schwab says the backing of agriculture for the free trade agreement is going to be a key to getting it through Congress.