White House submits legislation for free trade agreements
By Sara Wyant
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 - President Barack Obama formally sent the legislation for three pending Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to Capitol Hill this afternoon.
“The series of trade agreements I am submitting to Congress today will make it easier for American companies to sell their products in South Korea, Colombia, and Panama and provide a major boost to our exports,” President Obama said in a statement. “These agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across the country for workers making products stamped with three proud words: Made in America.
“We've worked hard to strengthen these agreements to get the best possible deal for American workers and businesses, and I call on Congress to pass them without delay, along with the bipartisan agreement on Trade Adjustment Assistance that will help workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition.”
“The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased that President Obama has sent implementing legislation to Congress today to ratify three bilateral free-trade agreements between the United States and Korea, Colombia and Panama,” noted AFBF President Bob Stallman. “America's farmers and ranchers have much at stake and the fact these three agreements are moving forward is very good news for our economy.”
Combined, the three FTAs represent nearly $2.5 billion in new agriculture exports and would create the economic growth that could generate support for up to 22,500 U.S. jobs. These gains will only be realized if the three agreements are passed by Congress and implemented, added Stallman.
“Today marks the biggest leap forward we have seen in nearly five years when the trade pact with Colombia was signed,” said National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Bill Donald. “Rural America is nearing a historic moment. These three agreements will create roughly 250,000 jobs right here in the United States and increase profitability for our nation's family farmers and ranchers.” Donald said cattlemen will not rest easy until the agreements are fully implemented but commended members of Congress for their longstanding support of free trade.
Once the deals are submitted by the president, Congress has 90 days to approve them. Both the White House and Republican leaders hope to pass the Korea pact by mid-October, when South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrives in the U.S. for a state visit.
The White House released three summaries of the pending trade pacts:
A fact sheet on the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement is available HERE.
A fact sheet on the U.S.-Panama Trade Agreement is available HERE.
A fact sheet on the U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement is available HERE.
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