This morning, the Committee on Ways and Means will hold a markup of the three long-pending, job-creating free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. All three agreements enjoy broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. For too long, America has sat on the sidelines, losing ground to foreign competitors in nations that have already implemented trade agreements with these countries. The time to act is now.
Creating Quality U.S. Jobs
Passing all three pending trade agreements is a way to create well-paying U.S. jobs and boost economic growth by opening new markets for U.S. goods and services. These agreements do not add one dime of new government spending.
Using the President’s own metrics, these trade agreements could create 250,000 U.S. jobs.
Expanding U.S. Exports and Creating Economic Growth
These agreements will increase exports, lower the trade deficit and stimulate much-needed U.S. economic growth.
The independent U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that implementation of the three pending trade agreements would increase U.S. exports by at least $13 billion and add at least $10 billion to U.S. Gross Domestic Product per year.
Helping U.S. Small Businesses
Passing all three pending trade agreements would directly benefit small and medium-sized enterprises and the U.S. jobs they create.
In 2008, more than 80 percent of U.S. exporters to South Korea, Colombia, and Panama were small and medium-sized enterprises that exported $12 billion to those countries.
Increasing Agriculture Exports
The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that U.S. farm exports could increase by more than $690 million per year to Colombia, more than $195 million per year to Panama, and more than $1.8 billion per year to South Korea.
The agreements ensure market access, national treatment, and regulatory transparency that exceed current standards.
Lowering Barriers to U.S. Goods
Passing the pending trade agreements would eliminate, or substantially lower, the tariffs and non-tariff barriers on U.S. exports in all sectors and create job opportunities in the United States.
Most imports from Colombia and Panama already enter the United States duty free, and U.S. exports to South Korea face much higher tariffs than our imports from South Korea. These agreements would level the playing field for U.S. goods and services by eliminating, or substantially lowering, the tariffs on U.S. exports to these markets.
For more information on the free trade agreements click here.