Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) focused on foreign affairs issues during the last week in June.
Will Free Trade Agreements Come Up for a Vote Before August Recess?
"The White House announced this week there has been meaningful progress in the administration's negotiations with Congress on reforming the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program and in three pending free-trade agreements -- but a Florida Republican on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee said Wednesday that he wasn't buying it" (Sunshine State News, "David Rivera Hammers Obama for "Moving the Goal Post' on Free Trade Deals" June 30, 2011)
Congressman Rivera released a statement in response to President Barack Obama's comments regarding the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea during his press conference on Wednesday.
"During a press conference today, President Obama said that the three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea are pending before Congress right now, and listed them among the job creating projects that have been "tied up in Congress for some time'. That's disingenuous.
"The President has not sent a finalized version of the free trade agreements to Congress for a vote and it seems that each time he is close to doing so, he moves the goal post instead, implementing a new set of conditions for approval.
"The three pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea would eliminate trade barriers and increase demand for American goods abroad which would increase U.S. GDP and exports by billions of dollars, and create thousands of jobs in the United States as a result.
"The President and Senate Democrats have to stop bending to labor union pressures, either by requiring labor improvements from Colombia--which our Latin American ally has met time and again--or by making passage of the free trade agreements contingent upon the extension of the Trade Adjustment Act."
Read Congressman Rivera's full statement asking if the pending free trade agreements will come before Congress before the August recess by clicking here.
North Korea as President of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament Continues Long-Established Pattern of Nonsensical Assignments
Congressman Rivera reacted to North Korea assuming the presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament last week.
"North Korea assuming the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament continues a long-established pattern of nonsensical council and conference assignments by the United Nations. This is the same body that entrusts oversight of human rights to countries like China and Cuba. So it seems only natural that the U.N. would give oversight of the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community to a country that is building up its arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles even in the face of sanctions from the U.N. It defies comprehension why the U.N. continues to irrationally appoint countries to councils and conferences that violate the very purpose of the body they are members of," the Congressman said.
Read Congressman Rivera's full statement on yet another nonsensical appointment by the United Nations by clicking here.
Congressman Rivera Calls on Obama Administration to Reinstate Cuba Travel and Remittance Restrictions Amid Human Trafficking Report
Cuba was ranked a Tier 3 country whose government does not fully comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Compliance Act (TVPA) and is not making efforts to do so in the 2011 Trafficking in Humans Report released by the U.S. State Department last week.
"The 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report is just another example of the lack of change coming from Cuba in regards to human rights. The State Department itself has found that Cuba has made no known effort to prevent human trafficking on the island or to protect trafficking victims," Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) said.
Congressman Rivera, a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, called for the Obama Administration to reinstate the travel and remittance restrictions it lifted earlier this year