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Public Statements

Providing For Consideration of Senate Amendment to H.R. 2832, Extending the Generalized System of Preference; Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3078, United States-Columbia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act;...

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC

Providing For Consideration of Senate Amendment to H.R. 2832, Extending the Generalized System of Preference; Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3078, United States-Columbia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act; Providing For Consideration of H.R 2079, United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act; and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3080, United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I thank the esteemed chairman of the Rules Committee for highlighting what a transformation Colombia has made in recent years, thanks to the strong leadership from the top down to the cop on the beat.

If the American people are listening to this debate, they would think that Colombia is a war zone equal to Iraq and Afghanistan. And I believe that those Members have not gone to Colombia in many a year.

But I rise in strong support of the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. I thank my good friend from California for his strong leadership on these three trade deals that we've been waiting so many years, Mr. Speaker, for them to be sent to Congress. I am pleased that at last we have the chance to vote on them, because their passage will mean American businesses will finally have a competitive level playing field.

And to give you just one example, American industrial exports to Panama--one of our sister countries to south Florida, we have so many Panamanian Americans living in our area--now face tariffs as high as 81 percent, but almost all of these will be eliminated thanks to this trade agreement.

By the administration's own estimates, Mr. Speaker, the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement alone will generate around 70,000 new American jobs. And as the Rules Committee chairman pointed out, south Florida is indeed the gateway to Latin America.


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