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Push Ahead on Three Trade Pacts

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April 7, 2011

Kansas City Star

Colombian products are already duty-free when shipped to the United States. Under the proposed deal, most American exports to Colombia would be freed from tariffs. Four-fifths of consumer and industrial products would be duty-free immediately, with the remaining tariffs phased out over a decade. More than half of U.S. farm products, especially important in the Midwest, would be duty-free immediately, with the tariffs vanishing over 15 years. President Barack Obama has said he wants to double exports, a worthy aspiration. To make it happen, Washington will have to pry open more overseas markets. Approving these agreements would be a big step in that direction.