Energy and Commerce Leaders Applaud House Approval of Long-Awaited Trade Agreements to Create Jobs and Boost America's Competitiveness

October 12, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - Leaders of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee today welcomed passage of three long-awaited trade pacts that will help create jobs and grow our economy. The agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea passed the House with wide bipartisan margins, opening the door for significant new U.S. exports and paving the way to create an estimated 250,000 American jobs.
 
Earlier this spring, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade hosted a hearing to examine how exports can foster job growth. Members and witnesses stressed the huge benefits of the free trade agreements for American exporters, and urged the president to put politics aside and submit them to Congress immediately. Today's strong bipartisan vote comes just days after the White House finally submitted the agreements to Congress, demonstrating the strong agreement in activating these agreements at last.
 
"With unemployment in America stuck at a stubborn 9.1 percent, these long-stalled Free Trade Agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea have the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the United States at a time when our economy needs it the most. For years, we having been losing ground as other nations gained footholds in promising new markets, while the White House played politics with this issue. I urge the Senate to move quickly. Right now, the best way to create new jobs in America is to ratify these agreements," said Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA).
 
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), who pledged to make job creation a committee priority in the 112th Congress, praised passage of the agreements.
 
"Hundreds of thousands of American jobs rely on exports, and promoting a robust trade agenda will only help bolster our economy and create more jobs. Over 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside of the United States, so opening up their markets for our manufactured and agricultural goods is a matter of common sense," said Upton. "By removing barriers to U.S. exports, American job creators will have significant new market access: that's good news for business and good news for jobs."