Manufacturers: Free Trade Agreements Will Create Jobs
Congress Must Act Swiftly to Pass Agreements
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement after President Obama transmitted the free trade agreements (FTA) with Colombia, South Korea and Panama to Congress for approval:
“For too long, we have remained on the sidelines while our competitors overseas have negotiated new agreements with partners all over the world, costing manufacturers valuable market share that is difficult to regain. Now is the time to help manufacturers in the United States remain competitive. Businesses are looking to Washington for pro-growth policies.
With a stagnant economy and unemployment still above 9 percent, these three agreements will provide our economy with a much-needed economic boost to create jobs. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the agreements will increase exports by $13 billion, which comes at a critical time in our recovery.
We cannot lose sight that free trade agreements are part of the solution, not the problem. Our nation has had a manufactured goods trade surplus with our free trade partners that has accumulated to more than $70 billion over the past three years. We must continue to negotiate new free trade agreements to meet the goal of doubling exports by 2014. Dozens of agreements are being negotiated all over the world right now, and we are party to only one.
We thank President Obama for sending the agreements to Congress and we urge the House and the Senate to move as quickly as possible so manufacturers can begin to create much-needed jobs.”