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Camp, Brady Statements on President’s 2011 Trade Policy Agenda

March 01, 2011

Washington, DC – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following comments today in response to the release of President Obama’s 2011 Trade Policy Agenda:

Chairman Camp: “While I commend the President’s commitment to enforcement as laid out in his Trade Policy Agenda, I am disappointed that the Administration has failed to show the same appetite for opening new markets.  The President’s Agenda fails to lay out a concrete plan for generating good U.S. jobs by advancing our pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.  Despite repeated bipartisan requests, the Administration has once again declined to clearly identify the outstanding issues, reasonable steps that can be taken to address those issues, and a timeframe for resolution.  The President’s Agenda shows no sense of urgency, even while acknowledging a clear reason for urgency – that U.S. businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers are increasingly disadvantaged as Colombia and Panama implement trade agreements with other countries.  As I have said repeatedly, I want to see all three agreements considered by July 1.”

Trade Subcommittee Chairman Brady: “I am puzzled why the White House continues to ignore clear bipartisan calls from Congress to promptly identify and address any outstanding issues related to the Colombia and Panama trade agreements.  The time for action is now. The continued delays are inexcusable.  They should be closed out and sent to the U.S. Congress for its consideration by July 1. 

“The President should take the lead on Panama and Colombia, as he has done on South Korea, given the broad and significant job-creating benefits these agreements offer to American workers, exporters, and consumers alike.  Other countries are aggressively seeking new trade agreements, opening up markets, and reaching investment agreements around the world to drive exports.  We need a forward-looking trade agenda that seeks to open new markets and improve market access in existing ones.  The President’s Trade Policy Agenda falls short of that goal.”