In “Lining up with Lima,” Investors Business Daily advocates passage of a pending free trade bill with Peru. IBD argues that Peru should be rewarded for standing up against the bullying of Hugo Chavez in its recent presidential election by electing Alan Garcia rather than Chavez’s announced favorite and helping stem the red tide that was pulsing through Latin America:
Peru’s voters rejected Chavez’s candidate at the ballot box and even made sport of his efforts to court them, if parodies on the Internet, TV, magazines and YouTube are any indication.
The pop-culture perceptions hugely influenced voter attitudes in the rest of the hemisphere, something even the best black ops office of the CIA can’t begin to do. No dictator can stand ridicule.
Many nations seek free trade with the U.S.’s $11 trillion economy, and there are many good arguments for extending it. But Peru’s done more than just talk — it’s ensured that the U.S. would not be alone in standing up to Chavez’s ideas.
Given the fact that a free trade bill would benefit the United States as well as Peru, Congress should do the right thing and get the bill passed before it breaks for summer recess.