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Reuters: Caterpillar Cuts Another 2,500 Jobs

March 17, 2009

Colombia FTA Would Help Caterpillar, American Workers

Despite the President’s media tour of Caterpillar this year to tout the stimulus bill that passed in mid-February, the company announced another 2,500 layoffs today.  Adding to Caterpillar’s woes is Speaker Pelosi’s continued refusal to act on the U.S.-Colombia trade agreement.  Colombia is a major market for Caterpillar, and implementation of the trade agreement would eliminate high duties on the products that it manufactures in the United States for export to Colombia.  The U.S.-Colombia trade agreement is a powerful economic stimulus that doesn’t require one dime of government spending.

FACT: Implementation of the Colombia FTA would eliminate duties of up to $200,000 on each truck Caterpillar exports to Colombia.  The elimination of these duties would make Caterpillar’s exports more competitive and affordable, which means more exports of American-made equipment and more U.S. jobs.

FACT: In terms of the entire U.S. economy, the Colombia FTA would boost U.S. exports to Colombia by at least $1.1 billion – helping to protect, save and create good-paying American jobs. 

FACT: Congressional inaction is harming American workers.  It has been 847 days since the agreement was signed, but Speaker Pelosi continues to block a vote on the agreement.

FACT: In those 847 days, U.S. exporters have paid over $1.8 billion in unnecessary tariffs on American-made goods, amounting to $2 million each day.