Congressman Bill Cassidy, M.D., today voted for free trade agreements (FTA) with Columbia, Panama and South Korea. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates these bills will increase American exports by $13 billion and create 250,000 new jobs.
"In Louisiana, we understand that free trade means jobs. In the sixth district, the Port of Baton Rouge and its sister ports, the Port of New Orleans and the Port of South Louisiana, support over 100,000 jobs and bring billions into our economy. Overall, trade supports 551,800 Louisiana jobs producing $41.9 billion in total exports -- making Louisiana one the country's top ten exporters. These numbers are even more impressive because 86 percent of Louisiana exporters are small businesses.
"By passing this legislation we will ensure Louisiana's rich petrochemical resources, fertile farms and able workforce are able to grow and contribute to the world's economy. These agreements will eliminate or reduce duties on major crops in our state, allowing farmers, often the hardest hit by economic woes, to recover and thrive."