U.S. Chamber Welcomes Step Forward on Trade Agreements

Monday, June 27, 2011 - 8:00pm

Donohue Calls it a ‘Moment of Truth’ for Congress, Urges Lawmakers to Move Trade Agenda Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today’s news that the Senate Finance Committee will hold a non-mark markup for the pending trade agreements and other trade programs was welcomed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“With our economic recovery stalling, the time is now for Congress to act on these deals,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “We simply cannot afford to put American jobs at risk any longer.”

“American workers and farmers waited more than four years for the trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, and the lapse in key trade programs has also caused hardship,” he said

On Friday, the European Union-Korea Free Trade Agreement will enter into force, and the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will do so six weeks later, putting American workers and farmers at a competitive disadvantage. A U.S. Chamber study warned that continued delay by Washington has put 380,000 American jobs at risk.

“In addition to broad support for the pending trade agreements, we welcome the news that there is bipartisan agreement on the substance of legislation to renew Trade Adjustment Assistance, the Generalized System of Preferences, and the Andean Trade Preference Act,” Donohue said.

“While the economy has pushed a number of American businesses on the brink, Congress should not push them off the edge by continuing to stall these deals,” he concluded. “For members of Congress who care about American jobs, this is a moment of truth. I urge members of both parties to seize this reasonable compromise and move the trade agenda forward. We will do everything in our power to round up the votes.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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