U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate today about the importance of ratifying trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. LeMieux discussed the importance of exports and free trade, especially in difficult economic times, and encouraged the Senate to ratify these agreements as soon as possible.
"There is a lot of talk in this chamber about job creation," LeMieux said. "Passing these free trade agreements would get Americans back to work. Right now, those countries basically have free trade with us, but we don't have free trade with them. Ninety percent of all Colombian products are sold in the U.S. duty-free. Yet our goods face tariffs of up to 35 percent when entering Colombia. Implementing this treaty could increase our gross domestic product by nearly $2.5 billion dollars. Let's pass these free trade agreements. If we want to focus on creating jobs for the American people in this difficult economic climate, we need to ratify these free trade agreements."
BACKGROUND: Senator LeMieux co-sponsored the Export Promotions Act of 2010 with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) that passed the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in June of this year. This legislation will help businesses by increasing export promotion and outreach efforts through the Commerce Department.