The Ways & Means Committee held a hearing today on the pending Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea and how they will create U.S. jobs. Below are the highlights of Rep. Roskam's remarks at the hearing. Chief Deputy Whip Roskam is a leader on efforts to spur no-cost job creation through free trade, including having made visits to all three nations--Panama, South Korea and Colombia--with pending trade agreements.
On The Need For No-Cost Job Creation Now:
"We need to make decisions moving forward that try and create an environment where worldwide American companies - or little American companies - are in the best possible footing to be competitive and dynamic. And that is no cost job creation. And that is something we can all agree upon."
On What The Colombia Free Trade Agreement Really Is:
"I want to share with you an experience of a group that came in to see me. And it gets to this idea about no-cost job creation that I think is very powerful and something that can bring us all together to Mr. Camp's point on moving forward - moving this debate forward. I had a group come to see me with talking points over at the Cannon House Office Building. This was a couple years ago, and they were against the Colombia Free Trade Agreement
"I began to explain to them, I said, "hey there is this opportunity for us as the United States to create changes within the tax code that actually get our manufactured products in a better position - vis-à-vis another area in the world that is actually four times the size of Illinois.'
"I asked them, "If we are able to do that, able to change the tax code so that Illinois manufacturers had an advantage in selling and taking things then to O'Hare Airport on trucks and flying them down to this other market that is four times the size of Illinois, would you all be for that?' And they looked around and kind of crumpled up their talking points and they said, "yeah were for that, that sounds good.' That's the Columbia Free Trade Agreement."