OPPOSING THE PANAMA AND COLOMBIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
(Mr. HARE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. HARE. Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to respond to recent comments made by the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Kirk, regarding the Panama and Colombia Free Trade Agreements.
In addition to the tax haven and money laundering issues with Panama, and the fact that Colombia remains the most violent country for trade unionists in the world, it would be a mistake to pursue these two unfair trade agreements as we attempt to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Our economy began this downward spiral as a result of irresponsible trade policies that have outsourced millions of good-paying American jobs. With the unemployment rate at 8.5 percent, the last thing our economy can afford is more of the same.
I intend to work with the Obama administration and my colleagues in Congress to forge a new direction on trade that addresses the devastation caused by NAFTA and, instead, creates jobs and grows industry in the United States.