America’s string-along -and-dither policy on a free-trade pact with Colombia is not only costing U.S. firms; it’s exacting a strategic price. China is now exploiting the void with a dry canal at a strategic choke point.
China’s Development Bank is prepared to splash out $7.6 billion to build a whole new railroad “dry canal” on the Colombian side of the isthmus for the China Railway Group to ship goods from Asia to the Atlantic side of the fast-growing South American continent.
Obama’s diplomats have also downgraded relations, whether they admit it or not. We’ve gone from focusing on $28 billion in two-way trade, the drug war and Colombia’s crazy neighbor Hugo Chavez to jejeune topics such as alternative “green” energy and student scientific exchanges.
Meanwhile, Colombia is rapidly going the way of Chile and Brazil, both of which have made China their top trading partner over the U.S.
So much for smart diplomacy. Obama’s dithering on free trade is going to cost us more than we imagine.
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