Job-Creating Free Trade Agreements Sat on President's Desk While Unemployment Rose
President Obama, after allowing the free trade agreements to languish for three years, formally submitted the pending accords with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama to Congress this afternoon.
These agreements are vital to economic growth and job creation in the U.S. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, together the agreements will increase exports by $13 billion, which by Obama’s own measurements could create more the 250,000 jobs.
- The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates passage of the US-Korea free trade agreement would increase U.S. exports by over $10 billion and create 70,000 American jobs.
- Once the Colombian deal is enacted, the U.S. will have access to $4 billion in new markets and the American agricultural industry will see an estimated $1.1 billion dollar overall increase in their exports alone.
- While more than ninety percent of imports from Panama are duty free, U.S. products still face tariffs when entering Panama. The Panama FTA will eliminate this trade barrier. Additionally, Panama is seeking to expand the Panama Canal, a project that could bring American contractors $5.25 billion if the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement is enacted.
“I’m happy to finally see movement on the trade deals but it’s a disgrace that for three years the President chose to pander to his protectionist union allies rather than put the American economy and taxpayers first,” stated Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, “The benefits of the trade deals present real opportunities to boost economic growth and create jobs, just as they would have three years ago at the height on the economic downturn.”