Last night, U.S. Congressman Billy Long fought for Missouri businesses and consumers by voting in favor of the South Korea, Panama, and Colombia Free Trade Agreements in the U.S. House of Representatives. With 95% of the world's consumers outside of America, allowing businesses to expand overseas means job creation for American companies.
"The South Korea, Panama, and Colombia Free Trade Agreements offer new markets for American goods and will create up to 250,000 American jobs," said Long. "To quote President Ronald Reagan, "Free and fair trade brings growth and opportunity and creates jobs."
According to the International Trade Commission and White House estimates, these free trade agreements are worth $13 billion in increased sales opportunities for manufacturers, farmers, and the service industry and would add $10 billion to America's gross domestic product. That is an estimated increase of up to 250,000 new jobs. Southwest Missouri farmers and manufacturers will see immediate benefits as well.
According to the Farm Bureau, the South Korea, Panama, and Colombia Free Trade Agreements are expected to increase direct exports from Missouri by $44.6 million per year and will add more than 400 agricultural jobs to the Missouri economy. Eliminating tariffs and other barriers on many of Missouri's agricultural products will increase trade for a range of Missouri agricultural products, many made right in the Ozarks, including soybeans, beef, corn, pork, dairy products, and processed food and fish.
Congressman Long has been a vocal proponent of free trade in Congress. From his first day in Congress, Long has served on House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier's Trade Working Group to push for passage of these trade agreements.
According to data in the Index of Economic Freedom, countries with lower trade barriers tend to have less poverty, less income inequality, and higher average income levels.