McConnell Sees "Clear Path" Forward on Free Trade Agreements

Press Release

By:  Mitch McConnell
Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the need to pass three long-pending Free Trade Agreements before the August recess:

"It's been reported that the White House has made an internal decision not to send Congress three long-pending Free Trade Agreements before the August recess.

"So I would just like to reiterate that I, for one, remain as committed as ever to passing these job-creating agreements into law as quickly as possible given the condition of our economy.

"As I see it, every sticking point seems to have been resolved.

"The White House initially said it needed `a deal' on Trade Adjustment Assistance, on the substance. They got that.

"Then they said they needed `an agreement' on the process.

"They got that. I myself am personally committed to working with Senator Reid to ensure a fair floor process for my members so they have an opportunity to try to amend a standalone Trade Adjustment Assistance bill separate from the three free trade agreements. That way, if the administration can generate the votes it needs, the TAA bill will pass on its merits.

"So I think we've got a pretty clear path in front of us at this point.

"I recognize that the calendar is tight. We've got a lot of other urgent business to take care of around here. So I don't expect to finish any of this before August.

"Still, I think the Administration should submit them anyway as a show of good faith with our trading allies in Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Then we can work to pass them when we return.

"The Administration has received everything it has publicly asked for on TAA. It's time to show they're serious about creating jobs and getting these deals done."

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