U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Monday regarding a surprising last-minute demand from the White House delaying the three pending, job-creating trade agreements:
"The trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama have been held up by the administration for years and I was encouraged at the recent movement in the White House to act. So it was more than surprising that the President's staff would again threaten to delay their implementation--particularly when the President himself agrees with us that these agreements will create jobs here in America. Our economy needs jobs and growth, not an ever-expanding list of reasons to delay the creation those jobs. It is my hope that the President will reconsider this decision and will not allow anything to get in the way of Congressional consideration of these trade agreements and the jobs they'll create, and that he'll also work with us on the extension of Trade Promotion Authority so that we can continue to expand opportunities for American entrepreneurs and our farmers and ranchers."
Background: Senate Republicans, in a letter to the Senate Majority Leader in March, wrote that "until the President submits [the Colombia and Panama] agreements to Congress for approval and commits to signing implementing legislation into law, we will use all the tools at our disposal to force action, including withholding support for any nominee for Commerce Secretary and any trade-related nominees."