Deal with Colombia could secure energy
March 21, 2011
As President Obama completes his trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador, U.S. manufacturers are urging his administration to move forward on the pending free trade agreement with Colombia.
William D. Marsh, a vice president for the top-tier oilfield service company, Baker Hughes Inc., was a witness last week at a House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee hearing on the FTA, testifying on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The main thrust of his comments were that such an agreement is vital to our national energy security.
“From a security perspective, there are advantages to developing Western Hemisphere energy sources like those in Colombia,” he said. “Colombia is considered a U.S. ally with a relatively stable government and economy. Oil and gas from Colombia could displace oil from less secure foreign sources of supply. Helping Colombia maintain a strong economy is also in our national interest. Therefore, adopting this reciprocal treaty is a win for both countries.”
Furthermore, noted Marsh, just as it is better economically and strategically to import oil and natural gas from Canada than, say, Russia, it would be preferable to have Colombia instead of Venezuela as a major supplier of energy to the United States.
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