Twelve senators have sent a letter to President Obama urging the administration to submit immediately the implementing language for the pending free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea, with the understanding that there will be a vote, with enough support for passage, on a separate Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill that the White House is insisting upon.
The Republican senators committed to support cloture – a vote to cut off prolonged debate – on a TAA bill that includes bipartisan reforms negotiated by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“Our country is in a financial crisis, and export promotion is one of the few budget-neutral tools available to help spur job growth,” says Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), a former U.S. trade representative, who signed the letter.
“That’s why advance job-creating agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama that expand exports are so urgent and timely. If we aren’t moving forward in the global economy, we’re falling behind. It’s time for the president to submit these agreements. We can pass TAA and these export agreements in separate votes, and we can get them passed now,” he adds.