Today Rep. Todd Rokita voted for free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that will create jobs and bolster Indiana manufacturing:
"Manufacturing is critical to Indiana's economy and exports are critical to Indiana's manufacturers. These free trade agreements will level the playing field for American companies and boost demand for American products abroad," Rokita said. "These free trade agreements passed with strong bipartisan support because they will create jobs and help our economy recover."
From 1997 to 2010, Indiana's exports have increased by 138 percent compared to 85 percent for the nation as a whole. In the same time period Indiana's exports to Panama have increased by 432 percent, to Colombia by 224 percent and to South Korea by 162 percent. These free trade agreements will increase already strong growth in exports to these trade partners.
"I am committed to creating an environment where all business, including manufacturing, can thrive. Free trade is an important step towards achieving this goal," Rokita said. But we must also get government regulations and tax disincentives out of the way. They are job-killers. Our regulatory and tax environments are making America less competitive and driving jobs overseas," Rokita said.
Indiana's 4th District exports over $7 billion in products every year and foreign trade directly supports over 7,000 jobs in the district. As a whole, Indiana exports $28 billion worth of goods every year and foreign trade directly supports over 75,000 Hoosier jobs.
In March Rep. Rokita and his House colleagues sent President Obama a letter urging decisive action on these free trades agreements and pledging to work towards the goal of doubling U.S exports by 2014.