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Three Job-Creating Trade Agreements Now One Step Closer to Passage

July 07, 2011

Washington, DC – Today, the Committee on Ways and Means held a non-markup of the three long-pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to relay the views of the Committee to the Administration before the trade agreements and implementing bills are formally submitted to Congress. Following the non-markup, Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statements:

Camp: “Today’s successful non-markup sends an important signal to the Obama Administration that the House of Representatives is prepared to move forward with these job-creating trade agreements.  These agreements will spur economic growth, create 250,000 U.S. jobs and increase exports by $13 billion.  The time to move forward is now.  American workers, farmers and businesses have been put at a competitive disadvantage for too long, and passing these agreements is critical to ensuring that America is on a level playing field with their global competitors.  I look forward to continuing to work with the President and Senate and House Leadership to ensure passage of all three agreements as soon as possible.”

Brady: “First and foremost, our priority is to create more American jobs by passing the long-overdue trade agreements as soon as possible.  Other countries have taken advantage of our delay and have moved aggressively to sign trade agreements with our partners.  We must not delay any longer.  Trade means jobs and new customers for American businesses, farmers and workers.  In this economy we must avail ourselves of this opportunity to create 250,000 new American jobs and business opportunities.”

Trade agreements create jobs and economic opportunities for U.S. workers:

  • Trade is vital to U.S. economic success and job creation.  Approximately 42% of all U.S. jobs are connected to international trade, including 3 million manufacturing jobs and 3.9 million agricultural jobs.
  • Trade agreements open markets to U.S. exports.  Trade agreements level the playing field for American workers by lowering barriers to U.S. exports in all sectors and support U.S. jobs.  The agreements require trading partners to significantly reduce the tariffs that U.S. companies face when exporting abroad.
  • Trade agreements reduce tariffs on imports.  Tariffs are a tax on U.S. consumers.  Trade has lowered prices and increased the purchasing power of an average American family of four by $10,000.  
  • The pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea are cost-free job creators.  Using President Obama’s own calculation, the three pending trade agreements will support 250,000 jobs spanning all sectors of our economy: manufacturing, services, and agriculture.  Jobs related to exports pay 15-17% more.
  • The three pending trade agreements will support jobs and economic recovery and do not require one dime of new government spending.  The independent International Trade Commission estimates that agreements would increase U.S. goods exports by $13 billion.  The American Farm Bureau estimates that U.S. farm exports could increase by more than $690 million to Colombia; more than $195 million to Panama; and more than $1.8 billion to South Korea.

To find out how a vibrant trade agenda helps create American jobs, please click