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Association Statements Regarding Movement on the Pending Trade Agreements, TAA

Organizations and associations from across the country are applauding the Senate Finance Committee’s announcement yesterday to hold a “mock markup” of pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Calling for swift passage of the trade pacts in order to support America’s economic recovery and job growth, many of these key stakeholders are also reiterating support for an agreement that includes Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and expired trade preference programs. Below is a sampling of what they are saying.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“With our economic recovery stalling, the time is now for Congress to act on these deals… We simply cannot afford to put American jobs at risk any longer… In addition to broad support in Congress for the pending trade agreements, there has historically been bipartisan support for Trade Adjustment Assistance, the Generalized System of Preferences, and the Andean Trade Preference Act… Likewise, the Chamber continues to support all three of these programs.”

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

“Moving the FTAs forward in an expedited fashion is critical to manufacturers who cede market share to their overseas competitors each day that these barriers exist… At a time when our economy is struggling to regain its footing, the agreements should be approved quickly so that we can see new markets opened and, most importantly, begin filling the 100,000 new jobs they will create.”

The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)

"We welcome the news that political differences have been put aside and that an agreement has been reached on TAA… TAA is critical to ensuring that U.S. workers adversely affected by trade receive benefits and acquire new skills, allowing them to re-enter the workforce… the NFTC commends the Administration and Congress for working together to ensure this essential element of our trade policy is renewed… We are pleased that a renewal of TAA is in sight…The program has always enjoyed bipartisan support and today's announcement makes clear that both the Administration and Congress are serious about enhancing U.S. economic growth and competitiveness through the advancement of the entire U.S. trade agenda."

The Latin America Trade Coalition (LATC)

“For years these pending trade agreements have been gathering dust, costing U.S. jobs… Passage of these [U.S.-Colombia and U.S.-Panama] agreements will create jobs in the United States and will help our economy get back on track by making U.S. products and services more affordable.”

American Farm Bureau Federation

"Combined, the three FTAs represent nearly $2.5 billion in new agriculture exports and could generate support for up to 22,500 U.S. jobs… passing these trade agreements would immediately eliminate most trade tariffs that have continued to plague U.S. farmers and ranchers… we believe that Trade Adjustment Assistance, which is also up for consideration, plays an important role in advancing a bipartisan trade agenda… Farm Bureau urges Congress to act swiftly and pass the bipartisan trade agreements by August recess.”

The Motion Picture Association of America Inc. (MPAA)

“We applaud Chairman Baucus for his leadership in moving ahead on the [South] Korea, Colombia and Panama FTAs… These agreements include crucial safeguards against copyright theft that plagues the motion picture industry’s viability overseas and inflicts untold damage on our creative community and workers at home… They will also help open these markets to U.S. filmed entertainment and the jobs the increased exports create.”

Business Roundtable

“Business Roundtable welcomes the progress represented by Chairman Baucus’ announcement that the Senate Finance Committee will consider the pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)… Support for a broad, positive trade agenda enjoys a long bipartisan tradition in Congress, as do such programs as Trade Adjustment Assistance, the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preference Act. Business Roundtable continues to believe in the merit of these programs.”

The U.S.-Korea FTA Business Coalition

"We applaud the Senate Finance Committee's action today to move forward with the U.S.-[South] Korea trade agreement… The incredible potential through this agreement to support tens of thousands of American jobs, and generate significant new export opportunities for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and services providers, has brought together unprecedented business, labor, and bipartisan support… we cannot afford to delay any longer… We urge Members of the Senate Finance Committee to support this agreement so that Congress can approve it before the August recess to ensure that U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and consumers do not fall further behind as our global competitors move forward without us."

The United States Council for International Business (USCIB)

“Approving these agreements as soon as possible will provide a big boost to our economy as we seek to ensure sustained growth and a jobs-based recovery… We need the tools to compete and win in the world economy… We believe that Trade Adjustment Assistance plays an important role in advancing a bipartisan trade agenda.”

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)

“NCGA is greatly encouraged by the movement on the pending FTAs… developing new markets for our country’s agricultural products will help our sector lead the nation in economic growth and international competiveness… As a producer, it is frustrating to watch other nations achieve preferential access to markets and secure a competitive advantage over U.S. corn and corn products… NCGA strongly supports the pending FTAs with [South] Korea, Colombia and Panama and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure swift passage.”

The Coalition of Service Industries (CSI)

"We heartily applaud the tireless efforts of Senator Baucus and everyone involved to reach this important decision… We look forward to working with the Administration and the Congress to secure the prompt approval of the FTAs as well as the TAA and preference programs… Today's announcement is a tremendous step forward.”

The American Soybean Association (ASA)

"This is a critical step in the right direction… Now that an agreement on Trade Adjustment Assistance has been reached, we call on Congress and the Administration to quickly advance these trade agreements in order to boost our economy… ASA urges that the Senate support and pass these agreements now and take full advantage of the opportunity they provide for America’s economic growth.”

The Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT)

“ECAT strongly supports passage of the trade agreements with Colombia, [South] Korea and Panama as soon as possible this year and, therefore, welcomes the Finance Committee announcement that it will hold a mock markup of the three agreements on Thursday… ECAT welcomes the leadership of Members in both the House and Senate to move the pending trade agreements forward this year and urges House and Senate Members to work together on a bipartisan basis to complete this work as soon as possible before the August recess.”

National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)

“It is imperative that the agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea be approved before Congress takes its month-long break… U.S. pork producers need new and expanded market access to remain competitive in the global marketplace. And the way to get that is through free trade agreements… We need to implement these FTAs now because while these deals have languished for more than three years, our competitors have negotiated their own trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, and the United States has lost market share in those countries.”