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Public Statements

Colombia FTA

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the President will meet today with Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos. We understand they will announce agreement on a long overdue free-trade agreement with this important trading partner and our best ally in South America. Republicans have been urging the President to act on this and on other critical trade deals for over 2 years.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea can provide up to 380,000 U.S. jobs. We know this deal alone would create tens of thousands of new jobs here in this country. 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.

We hope today's meeting marks a real step forward in concluding this trade agreement with Colombia. We expect this announcement means the President will be submitting all three trade agreements--Korea, Colombia, and Panama--in the very near future. We look forward to working with him to clear them through the Congress.

I yield the floor.

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