McCain’s Colombian trip: Strong support for free trade

Senator John McCain, the Republicans’ presumptive presidential candidate, continued his strong support for free trade with a visit to Colombia and discussions with its president, Ãlvaro Uribe.

McCain praised the pending trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, which has been held up by the Democratic leadership. He noted that although Colombia has made great progress in improving its human rights record in the face of drug cartel murders and paramilitary violence, it still needs to do more.

In contrasting his trade views with those of the expected Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama, McCain turned to history:

“We just have a difference of opinion,” Mr. McCain said, “and I’m a student of history.” He added: “An overwhelming majority of historians will tell you that protectionism and isolationism were a major factor in one of the greatest depressions in the modern history of this country. I’m not going to sit by and see that happen.”

Check out CEI’s “On Point” on the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which has just been posted.