From CBS News' John Bentley:
(PHILADELPHIA) After delivering the keynote address at the National Sheriffs' Association's Annual Conference this morning in Indianapolis, John McCain will head to South America for two days. McCain travels to Cartagena, Colombia, this afternoon where he will meet with President Alvaro Uribe to show support for the Colombian Free Trade Agreement and that country's fight against narcotics trafficking.
"I want to go to Colombia as it is a vital ally in our struggle against the scourge of drugs, a great amount of cocaine that comes into the United States of America, as we know, comes from Colombia," McCain said. "Colombia has shown success, and I am strongly in favor of the free trade agreement between the United States and the nation of Colombia which is being blocked in the House of Representatives from even a vote."
Barack Obama has opposed the free trade agreement because of labor and environmental concerns in Colombia. McCain admits that more work needs to be done by the Uribe government, but that withholding American support could undo the gains that the country has made. "It's important for our trading partners to know that we're serious about respectful trade agreements focused on the mutual benefit to both countries," said Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman.