U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding a pending free-trade agreement with Colombia:
"On another matter, the President will meet today at the White House with Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos. We understand that they'll announce an agreement to advance a long-awaited and overdue free-trade deal with this important trading partner and ally.
"Republicans have been urging the President to act on this and other critical trade deals for two years. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea would protect 380,000 U.S. jobs. And we know that this deal alone would create tens of thousands of new jobs. At a time when millions of Americans are out of work and businesses are looking for opportunities to hire, there was no excuse to slow-walk these deals.
"So we hope today's meeting marks a real step forward in concluding this deal with Colombia.
"We expect this announcement means the President will be submitting all three trade deals--Colombia, Panama, South Korea--in the very near future, and we look forward to working with him to clear them through Congress."