Mrs. BIGGERT. I thank the chairman for yielding to me.
Mr. Speaker, today I rise with great enthusiasm because at long last the House and Senate are poised to act on the most bipartisan, economically compelling jobs bills of the Obama Presidency. By supporting this rule and ratifying these agreements, we are taking a huge step towards leveling the playing field for U.S. goods and services. And in doing so, we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs right here in America.
And thanks to the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, the tariffs on many American products will come down immediately, giving a massive boost to our economy at a time when we need it more than ever.
All told, these fair trade agreements would support an estimated quarter-million American jobs and increase exports by $13 million. And my home State of Illinois will be among the first to benefit. Currently, Illinois ranks sixth in the Nation in terms of total exports; 109 companies in my district alone export abroad, and local exports support nearly 65,000 jobs in just DuPage, Cook and Will counties.
These aren't just large manufacturers like Boeing, Navistar, and Kraft; they're also small businesses with a handful of employees. In fact, 90 percent of Illinois exporters are small businesses, exporting everything from computer chips to financial services.
Already, trade with South Korea in my district alone supports 1,137 jobs, and that number has the potential to rise dramatically after this week's agreements go into effect. Now imagine that impact multiplied hundreds of times across congressional districts throughout the Nation.
Mr. Speaker, passing these agreements is one of the most common sense, low cost, and economically sound things that Congress can do right now to boost job growth. And now that the President has finally sent the agreements to Capitol Hill, we must act immediately. I urge my colleagues to support this rule.