Washington, DC – Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) today responded to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk’s letter to him indicating the President intends to move the pending free trade agreement with South Korea, without any mention of our pending agreements with Colombia and Panama. In Chairman Camp’s response to Ambassador Kirk, he reiterated his request that the Administration quickly advance all three of the pending trade agreements to allow for their consideration by Congress by July 1, 2011, stating:
“Your letter is completely silent on our pending agreements with Colombia and Panama. As you know, I strongly believe that all three agreements should be considered by Congress by July 1, and I have repeatedly urged the Administration to advance the Colombia and Panama agreements.
“All three agreements are important to U.S. strategic and economic interests and will help support jobs here in the United States – 250,000 jobs using the President’s own measure. Given our continued high unemployment rate, we must explore all possible opportunities to sell to the world and create and support existing jobs in the United States.
“Not only will these agreements create new opportunities abroad, I am equally concerned that the failure to move them will severely disadvantage U.S. businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers who now sell their products in these markets. We have already seen U.S. market share drop precipitously for key agriculture commodities in Colombia while Argentina’s market share has increased because its agreement with Colombia has entered into effect. The need to move ahead is urgent…
“The time for action is now. Therefore, I again request that you submit your action plan for advancing the Colombia and Panama agreements.”
The full letter from Chairman Camp to Ambassador Kirk can be read here.
The full letter from Ambassador Kirk to Chairman Camp can be read here.