Looking at “Labor Standards” in Colombia


You’ll hear Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton talk frequently about how trade agreements need to have labor standards and environmental standards. A perfect example of what they mean when they say “labor standards” can be seen in Colombia, a country with whom the United States is considering a trade agreement. Here’s Chris Hayes:

Imagine a country where CEO’s live in fear. In just the past five years, 400 CEO’s — from manufacturing, banking, real estate — have been shot down in cold blood. (Thousands over the past 15 years.) Almost none of these murders have been solved. Indeed, over the past five years the percentage of CEO murders simply brought to trial has declined from 30% to zero. CEO’s now more or less live in fear.

Can you imagine the US have friendly relations with such a place? Can you imagine a president expending political capital to treat that country favorably in an international agreement? Right. Of course not.

Of course, such a place does exist, but they’re not murdering CEO’s.

No, they’re murdering trade unionists. And they’re getting away with it.

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