Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-13) has been appointed to the influential Trade Subcommittee of the powerful Ways & Means Committee. Full Committee Chairman Dave Camp today named Buchanan to the Trade Subcommittee as well as the Oversight Subcommittee.
"I am honored by the opportunity to serve on such important subcommittees," said Buchanan, Florida's only member of the Ways & Means Committee. "Through these subcommittees I will work to ensure that Southwest Florida's needs are addressed.
As a member of the Trade Subcommittee, Buchanan will seek to move three free trade agreements through the Congress and conduct oversight on U.S. trade relations with the European Union, China, India, among others.
"Jobs and the economy are the most important issue," said Buchanan. "If we can grow our exports, it will help Florida's economy as we send our goods, services, and products to people around the world. In turn, this will help generate new jobs, and lead to an economic revitalization.
"For starters, the Congress can ratify the pending free trade agreements with Panama, South Korea, and Columbia. I support these agreements, and will urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in moving these trade agreements forward."
Buchanan, who was recently named chairman of the Friends of Panama Caucus, added that serving on the Trade Subcommittee will enable him to continue his efforts at helping expand Port Manatee and enhance its ability to capitalize on the upcoming expansion of the Panama Canal.
As a member of the Oversight Subcommittee, Buchanan expects to be involved in health reform, tax reform, and oversight of the executive branch to ensure transparency and accountability.
The Ways and Means Committee is the chief tax-writing body in the House of Representatives. The U.S. Constitution gives it sole power in Congress to initiate tax bills, making it even more powerful than its counterpart in the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee.
Buchanan is a self-made businessman and a respected leader in Florida's business community. He chaired both the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Board of the U.S. Chamber.