U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today urged the President to send to Congress long-pending Free Trade Agreements between the United States and Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Ros-Lehtinen said that these pacts with our key allies will create jobs at no cost to the American taxpayer. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"While the President remains fixated on spending bills, three job-creating Free Trade Agreements continue to languish. These bills will cost nothing to enact, and the President himself has acknowledged that they will create tens of thousands of jobs. They are zero-cost jobs bills. So why does the President continue to delay sending them to Congress?
"Tomorrow, our Committee will hold a hearing examining the real world economic benefits of these job-creating pacts. With so many American families struggling, and so many people looking for work, passage of the Free Trade Agreements should be a top priority.
"Lowering barriers for U.S. manufacturers trying to sell their products abroad would have real world economic benefits, including in my district in South Florida. Colombia and Panama are already huge trading partners of Miami, and we have an opportunity to increase exports to these countries even more. South Korea is our 7th largest trading partner, and it is estimated that the South Korea FTA would increase U.S. exports by more than $10 billion a year.
"These agreements will also reinforce our alliances in key regions of the world.
"The bottom line is that these agreements create jobs. I urge the President to send these agreements to Congress now, and stop delaying the creation of jobs for which so many are waiting."