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Sep 29 2011

Hatch, Others Urge President to Send Trade Agreements to Congress

In Letter to President, Lawmakers Note that With TAA Through Senate, “...[A]ll that remains is for these agreements to be successfully considered is for your Administration to act and submit the them to Congress for a vote.”

WASHINGTON – Today 11 Republican Senators, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), sent a letter to President Obama urging him to submit the pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea to Congress for a vote. 

“Last week, the U.S. Senate approved H.R. 2832, legislation to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and extend and expand Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).  Almost immediately thereafter, Speaker of the House John Boehner reiterated his commitment to consider TAA in tandem with legislation to implement the long-stalled free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea,” the Senators wrote.  “While not all members supported H.R. 2832, these actions demonstrate that all that remains for the trade agreements to be successfully considered is for your Administration to submit them to Congress for a vote.  As you know, a vote in Congress will not occur until you take this action.”

Joining McConnell and Hatch on the letter to President Obama are Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.).  

The letter to the President can be found HERE and below: 

September 29, 2011

The President
The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,

Washington D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Last week, the U.S. Senate approved H.R. 2832, legislation to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and extend and expand Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).  Almost immediately thereafter, Speaker of the House John Boehner reiterated his commitment to consider TAA in tandem with legislation to implement the long-stalled free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.  While not all members supported H.R. 2832, these actions demonstrate that all that remains for the trade agreements to be successfully considered is for your Administration to submit them to Congress for a vote.  As you know, a vote in Congress will not occur until you take this action.

           Your Administration has repeatedly spoken about the strategic importance of these agreements to our allies in Colombia, Panama and South Korea, as well as the ability of the agreements to create jobs here in the United States. Unfortunately, speeches about the benefits of pending free trade agreements alone will not strengthen our alliances or create jobs at home. Until you act and submit the pending free trade agreements to Congress, these benefits will never materialize.

At a time when unemployment is at 9.1%, there is no reason to delay action on these measures that members of both parties agree will create jobs.  Submitting the free trade agreements to Congress is a concrete step you can take to help the American economy recover. We urge you to take that step immediately.  Once you submit these agreements, we are confident that they will be quickly considered and approved by a bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress.

Sincerely,

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