News

    Bush Presses US Congress on Latin America Trade Deals

    President Bush Friday urged the U.S. Congress to approve a set of free trade accords with Colombia, Panama and Peru. VOA's Brian Wagner reports that Mr. Bush said the trade deals will benefit U.S. business and boost democracy in the region.

    President Bush made the speech in Miami, Florida noting it is crucial for U.S. trade with Latin America and other parts of the world. He said that $72 billion in goods and products passed through Miami's ports last year.

    The president said the strength of international trade has helped push the area's economic growth and employment levels above national averages. "I think the case for trade is unmistakable in Miami, and we need to make that case all over the country. I've come to a place that has benefited from trade so others around the country can understand it can happen in their areas as well," he said.

    Mr. Bush said a centerpiece of his economic policy has been pursuing free trade deals with other nations, and while in office, he has expanded the number of such deals from three to 14.

    Now he is again pressing Congress to approve pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Peru. He said U.S. exporters will benefit the most under the deals, because they would lower trade duties on many American products sent to the Latin American nations.

    "Our free trade agreements would knock down many of these barriers and level the playing field for our businesses and farmers and workers. Together these agreements would expand access to 75 million new customers with a combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of $245 billion," said.

    Lawmakers in U.S. Congress have voiced support for the agreements with Panama and Peru, but the future of the Colombian plan is unclear. Some legislators have criticized the Colombian government for failing to prevent or investigate attacks on union leaders. They say Colombia must do more before a trade deal is approved.

    President Bush said Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe has made great strides in his nation, while he recognized that some concerns remain. But he stressed that increasing ties with Colombia was the best way to bring about further improvements.

    "Colombia's record is not perfect, but the country is clearly headed in the right direction and is asking for our help," he said.

    The president also said the deal with Colombia was crucial to America's strategic interests in the region, especially in the fight against drug traffickers and terrorist groups.

    In recent months, the Bush administration has sought to strengthen ties with Latin American allies, amid sharp criticism from Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez and some other regional leaders.

    The president said the three pending trade deals could help further those efforts. "This agreements will counter their false populism promoted by some nations in the hemisphere. These agreements will strengthen the forces of freedom and democracy throughout the Americas," he said.

    After the speech, President Bush departed Miami to spend the weekend on his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.