Grassley Presses Administration to Move Forward on Trade Agreements PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business, Economy & Finance
Written by Sen Chuck Grassley   
Monday, 07 February 2011 09:33

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley in a letter to President Barack Obama yesterday pressed for action on three pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

Grassley said that he was encouraged to hear the positive remarks in last week’s State of the Union speech, but hopes the President’s actions meet his rhetoric.

“Increasing international trade is key to economic recovery and job creation,” Grassley said.  “The rest of the world is moving forward, at the expense of America’s workforce.  It’s time for the United States to get off the sidelines and start making international trade a priority.”

Grassley noted that the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, once fully implemented could provide $910 million in gains each year for U.S. agriculture, and the potential benefits for Korea could be $1.6 billion for agriculture.

Here is a copy of the text of Grassley’s letter.

February 1, 2011

The Honorable Barack H. Obama

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20500


Dear President Obama,

The most critical aspect to jumpstart our nation’s economic recovery is job growth.  In your recent State of the Union on January 25, 2011 you spoke about our three pending Trade Promotion Agreements (TPAs) as a tool to support our economy.  I commend you for highlighting the need to strengthen our trade relations with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.  However, you also called attention to these three pending agreements in your last State of the Union on January 27, 2010.

Unfortunately we are no closer today than we were a year ago in advancing these TPAs.  I therefore reiterate my urgent request that your Administration submit implementing legislation to Congress for each of these agreements without delay.  If we are to meet the goal of the National Export Initiative to double exports, we must break down trade barriers beginning with the three TPAs which are already negotiated.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Colombia TPA, once fully implemented could provide $910 million in gains each year for U.S. agriculture.   The potential benefits for Korea are even greater - $1.6 billion for agriculture alone.  The result is jobs - jobs we desperately need in the heartland and across the U.S.

It’s time to back up your words with actions.  I strongly urge you to send all three agreements to Congress for approval as quickly as possible.  Thank you for your attention to this important issue and I look forward to working with you to bring these trade agreements to completion.


Charles E. Grassley

United States Senator

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