No Bush-Obama Colombia Deal

No Bush-Obama Colombia Deal

President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team sought to dispel reports about a Colombia trade agreement Obama and President George W. Bush were said to have discussed during yesterday’s private transition meeting at the White House.

Bush is said to have indicated support for aid to the ailing auto industry if Obama and Congressional Democrats dropped their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia, the New York Times reported.

Co-chair John Podesta said any links to a Colombia free trade agreement and economic bailouts were “not accurate.”

“In no way did President Bush suggest that there was a quid pro quo when it came to Colombia free trade agreement or the other free trade agreement,” concurred Bush’s press secretary Dana Perino.

In a wideranging conference call today, Podesta said the transition team will be focusing on the economy, and environmental and security challenges. He said the team “will be engaged, as is required and necessary, in national security issues that remain constant throughout the transition.”

Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at