Gov. Terry E. Branstad has co-written a bipartisan letter urging President Obama and Congress to pass three pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. In addition, Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are urging support of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program and fast-track trade negotiation authority for the President.
The letter, which was co-written by Gov. Branstad and five other governors, has received bipartisan support with 25 total governors signing on.
"With an increasingly competitive global economy, it is important for President Obama and Congress to enact the pending trade agreements," said Branstad. "These agreements deserve strong bipartisan support, because trade is one of the best ways to grow our economy through high-paying jobs for American workers and increased opportunities for American farmers, ranchers, and business owners. The Obama administration needs to move these trade agreements now to create needed jobs in Iowa and throughout the country."
Expanding trade further accomplishes the ambitious goal Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds set out for Iowa in creating 200,000 new jobs and increasing family incomes by 25 percent over the next five years. In the beef, pork and poultry industries alone, an estimated 5,000 new Iowa jobs would be created by these trade agreements.
"Governor Branstad and I understand the importance of these trade agreements to Iowa businesses," said Lt. Gov. Reynolds. "Trade expansion is especially pertinent to Iowa, with every one billion dollar increase in trade resulting in the creation of 7,000 new jobs in Iowa."
Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds believe that Congress should support the TAA program, but given current Federal fiscal constraints they understand the need to scale back the program's funding to more traditional levels that are sustainable in the long-term.
Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds also urge Congress to grant fast-track trade negotiation authority to the President, something that every President has been granted since 1974. This will help conclude complex trade agreements in a timely manner and keep pace with global competition.