China-Colombian Rail Link Discussed to Compete with Panama Canal

As a long languishing/unfinished free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Colombia continued to draw attention from trade advocates, China has unveiled vague plans to build a rail link through the same nation. It is seen as a direct attempt to compete with the Panama Canal on the world trade states and would be a slap to the United States by grabbing a larger piece of the South American Market. Colombia already conducts more trade with China than any other nation than the U.S., and the Asian economic powerhouse already has substantial presence in emerging economic power Brazil, the pearl of its continent.

The news has given pro-trade advocates and lawmakers, largely Republican, another weapon with which to proverbial bash President Barack Obama and his White House that, despite various recent attempts to extend an olive branch, have been vilified by the American business community.

During last week's FCIB New York International Round Table event, panelist Josh Green, CEO of Panjiva, said he could see the Colombia FTA becoming a casualty of partisan Capitol Hill fighting in the coming months.

Brian Shappell, NACM staff writer

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