image description

August 2011

July 31, 2011

AL.com Press-Register

By Michael Ciamarra, Policy Consultant for the Alabama Policy Institute

Long overdue is the need for Congress to ratify the pending bilateral trade agreements (known as Free Trade Agreements, or FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Congress, despite its endless dramas, is inching closer to that important vote. Free trade’s benefits are lasting to main street America and are essential to enhancing prosperity. Free trade benefits all the partners who learn the rules of engagement.

July 29, 2011

Southeast Farm Press

By U.S. Grains Council

U.S. government inaction on trade is costing America jobs and losing U.S. producers’ market share — and it is vital that the United States re-engage…. Noting the U.S. has not signed a single free trade pact in over three years — while the rest of the world is forging ahead with bilateral and regional deals — Schwab urged President Obama to submit the long stalled Panama, Colombia and South Korea free trade agreements to Congress for ratification.

July 28, 2011

Wall Street Journal

By Angus Loten, Reporter, Wall Street Journal

With a target of doubling exports by 2015, the Obama Administration needs to push through pending free-trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to level the playing field for smaller U.S. exporters, House lawmakers said Wednesday. “Until the administration and Congress act on these agreements, American small businesses will be at a competitive disadvantage with foreign firms,” Rep. Sam Graves (R., Mo.), chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, said at a hearing on barriers to small-business exports.

August 1, 2011

North Texas eNews

The three pending free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea could generate $2.5 billion in American agricultural exports and 22,500 jobs for the U.S. economy. All three agreements are awaiting a congressional vote following lengthy disputes among both chambers of Congress and the Obama administration.

July 31, 2011

Billings Gazette

“The big thing for Montana, and wheat and barley commodities in particular, is that the Canadian free trade agreement with Colombia is going into effect in August,” said Lola Raska, executive vice president of the Montana Grain Growers Association. MGGA had hoped to beat the Canadians to the punch when Colombian ships began loading hard red spring wheat in Portland. Montana happens to be one of the nation’s largest producers of the crop.

July 30, 2011

Lansing State Journal

Millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs are at stake for Michigan as Congress weighs approving trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The agreements would increase Michigan exports by $44.6 million annually, adding an estimated 400 jobs to the state's agricultural economy.

August 1, 2011

Journal Sentinel

By Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Smart trade deals that remove barriers to trade, support job creation and bolster the American economy also can pay huge dividends for small business. Right now, we have three major trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia awaiting congressional action. Full implementation of all three agreements will add more than $2.3 billion a year to the American economy.

August 1, 2011

EFE

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos marked Monday's official start of his state visit to Mexico by hailing the enactment of a revised bilateral trade accord and touting the "enormous" opportunities his nation offers Mexican business…The Colombian president recalled that Colombia's 1996 trade treaty with Mexico was one of the first such pacts that Bogota signed. Since it went into effect, annual Mexican exports to Colombia increased twelvefold, from $306 million to $3.76 billion, while Colombian exports to Mexico have surged from $121 million to $795 million.

August 1, 2011

Reuters

A deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling after weeks of tough talks between the White House and Congress has raised hope leaders will nowturn their attention to resolving difference blocking three long-delayed trade deals, U.S. business groups said on Monday…. The administration expects the three pacts to boost exports by about $13 billion, helping to create or support about 70,000 jobs and giving the U.S. economy a much-needed lift.

August 1, 2011

American Ag

In a few short weeks, the United States will be the only major wheat provider for Colombian buyers not benefiting from permanent zero duty access, which will cut significantly into wheat growers’ share of that large and growing market – hurting both U.S. producers and Colombian buyers of their products. That was main message from NAWG President Wayne Hurst at a press roundtable held Friday by the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), which promotes the expansion of trade.

August 2, 2011

Wisconsin Ag Connection

A coalition of agricultural and food organizations and companies in an open letter to President Obama and members of Congress released today urged immediate action on the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

August 1, 2011

Booth Mid-Michigan

Pending free trade agreements could increase Michigan exports by $44.6 million annually and bring an estimated 400 jobs to the state's agricultural economy, according to a Gannett report.

August 1, 2011

Washington Post

Brookings fellow in global economy and development Joshua Meltzer says that economic benefits of free trade agreements flow to the consumer level when trade barriers are lowered and tariffs come down.

August 4, 2011

Messenger Post

“I support it,” said Lisa Grefrath, president of Ontario County Farm Bureau, who helps run her family dairy farm in Hopewell. “It is projected to bring $30 million, just to New York state.” She explained that if the market expands, demand would rise for farm products, raising the price farmers receive. For dairy farmers, she said, this would help prevent the plunge in milk prices, like what farmers experienced a few years ago.

August 7, 2011

Associated Press

When Congress gets back to work after Labor Day it will have the chance to achieve something that has largely eluded it for the entire year, passing legislation that might actually create jobs. With the battering debate over the debt ceiling over, the stage is set for Congress to approve and President Barack Obama to sign three big free-trade agreements and the most significant overhaul of the patent system in 60 years.

August 7, 2011

The Marion Star

Jeff Wuebker, President, Ohio Soybean Association

When American farmers are allowed to compete in international markets, they have proven they can win. We already export to places such as China, Japan, Mexico and Europe, and now need to knock down barriers to our exports in other countries. The pending Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Colombia and Panama would allow Ohio farmers to compete on a level playing field in these important markets, and I urge the U.S. Congress to immediately approve and implement these agreements.

August 4, 2011

Truth About Trade & Technology

Ross Korves, Economic Policy Analyst, Truth About Trade & Technology

The pending FTAs with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will provide manufacturers greater access to growing developing country markets. The agreements will lead to increasing imports and exports of manufactured products as U.S. companies continue to align with international supply chains. The best opportunity for the U.S. to continue its leadership in manufacturing is to continue to innovate to serve the needs of businesses and consumers in freer markets.

August 6, 2011

Spokesman-Review

The case for open trade is an easy one to make in Washington, not just for companies like Boeing but for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman as well, and for farmers who would have almost 50 million new palates to tempt in South Korea alone. That nation is Washington’s fifth-largest trading partner despite tariffs as high as 45 percent on apples and pears and 25 percent on cherries, wine and potatoes. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell estimates removing those tariffs could increase wine sales by 45 percent and carve out a bigger share of that nation’s $1 billion appetite for American beef.

August 7, 2011

Lancaster Eagle Gazette

According to the Ohio Soybean Association, if the trade agreements are passes and implemented, they will present an opportunity for $3 billion in additional U.S. exports, economic development and jobs. There is a tariff as high as 150 percent on soybean imports in Colombia that immediately would be eliminated if the agreement is passed. Colombia also would phase out its 24-percent tariff for refined soybean oil during the next five years.

August 6, 2011

Politico

As he has said numerous times in recent months, the president stressed that there are immediate steps that Congress can take when it returns to the capital to boost job creation, including extending tax cuts for middle-class families, giving tax credit to companies that hire veterans and getting rid of red tape that can hold back entrepreneurs. Obama also called on lawmakers to pass the pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama — deals that he said would not only help put people to work, but also put the words “Made in America” on products sold around the world.

August 8, 2011

Sunshine State News

After almost four years of wrangling, it appears that the U.S. Senate and Congress will be ready to pass pending free-trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. It looks like the measures will be passed when Congress returns to Washington in September.

August 9, 2011

NMPolitics.net

Jamie P. Estrada, Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing

An FTA with Colombia would help companies like Miox sell their products duty free – and thus at a significant cost advantage over other international competitors – and, in turn, support hundreds of jobs here in New Mexico. New Mexico lags behind our neighbors in merchandise exports, but we can do something about it by building ties with many of America’s new and existing FTA partners.

August 9, 2011

Delaware Online

The passage of the agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama will pay off for American businesses and workers. South Korea, for example, is Delaware's seventh-largest export market. The increase in chicken exports alone could boost business and employment in Delaware. The trade agreements would reduce or eliminate tariffs on American products. President Obama has rightly said America's future lies in exporting American goods and services.

August 9, 2011

Southeast Farm Press

The U.S. Grains Council

For U.S. corn farmers, failure to approve the Colombia agreement has been especially costly. Colombia was the sixth-largest U.S. corn market and was growing until 2009, when Colombia’s trade agreement with South America’s Mercosur nations reduced tariffs on Argentina and Brazil to 6.9 percent, a level that will continue to decline until it reaches zero in 2018. Failure to pass the Colombia FTA leaves U.S. corn with a 15 percent tariff, and U.S. exports have declined each year since.

August 9, 2011

Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism

“Trade Between Colombia and Canada has Doubled in the Past 5 Years”

Business between Colombia and Canada has been increasingly dynamic in recent years, and between 2005 and 2010, bilateral trade doubled from $687 million to $1.36 billion, numbers that will likely increase with the entry into force of the FTA between the two countries on August 15, said Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Sergio Diaz-Granados.

August 11, 2011

Politico

By Senator John Thune, (R-S.D.)

In November 2006, the United States signed a free-trade agreement with Colombia, paving the way for better access to millions of consumers there. This was a big win for our trade negotiators — and they followed it up with similar agreements with Panama and South Korea in June 2007. And then — nothing… Obama should submit the trade agreements for consideration immediately. Congress should then approve them as the first order of business in September — before America loses even more business opportunities to the EU, Canada and others.

August 11, 2011

Albany Herald

By Steve and Cokie Roberts, Albany Herald Reporters

The economic news remains dreadful: Stock markets, credit ratings and consumer confidence are all plunging. Worse yet, the administration has few tools available to reverse the trend. New stimulus spending is politically impossible, and interest rates are already at rock bottom. But two useful moves could be made now that, over time, would improve America’s job picture and economic health. One is to pass three trade agreements — with South Korea, Panama and Colombia — that have been languishing on Capitol Hill for years.

August 11, 2011

York News-Times

Representative Adrian Smith, (R-NE-3)

The longer we wait to approve the agreements, the more market share we lose to international competitions and the more hard-working Americans are punished…. On August 3, the Senate announced it had agreed on a process to move the pending trade agreements forward as well. This agreement on a path for approval brings us one step closer toward our products reaching global markets.  With the both chambers of Congress prepared to act, it is now up to the White House to move as quickly as possible.

August 10, 2011

The Edmond Sun

By Representative Frank Lucas, (R-OK-3)

Delays in implementation of three pending free trade agreements between the U.S. and Colombia, Panama and South Korea are costing the United States in market share and access to foreign competitors. Recently, the White House insisted on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) in return for implementing free trade agreements. This further delays the creation of many jobs and economic growth in America.

August 10, 2011

The Foundry

By Erin Grant, Columnist

“We’re cutting our own throats here, I think,” Kim Murray, from the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, recently remarked in reference to the U.S. failure to pass pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. These agreements fell to the wayside in the midst of the debt ceiling debates; however, U.S. producers and workers have been feeling the pinch as other countries have already entered into FTAs with these nations.

August 9, 2011

Marietta Times

By Jeff Wuebker, President of the Ohio Soybean Association

When American farmers are allowed to compete in international markets, they have proven they can win. We already export to places such as China, Japan, Mexico and Europe, and now need to knock down barriers to our exports in other countries. The pending Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Colombia and Panama would allow Ohio farmers to compete on a level playing field in these important markets, and I urge the U.S. Congress to immediately approve and implement these agreements.

August 10, 2011

The Office of the Prime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will come into force on August 15, 2011.  The announcement was made jointly with the President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, during Prime Minister Harper’s official visit to Colombia.  The Prime Minister also announced increased Canadian assistance to strengthen human rights in Colombia.

August 12, 2011

Colombia, Canada Gear Up to Officially Launch Trade Deal Next Monday

August 11, 2011

Alaska Dispatch/The Christian Science Monitor

A strong priority of the business community is free-trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia, which have bipartisan support in the Senate. Republicans say these agreements could create from 250,000 to 2 million American jobs without adding to the cost of government. 

August 8, 2011

Portafolio (Unofficial translation)

Cloud computing and mobility are its main challenges. Today it has close to 60% of the printing market. In the coming days, HP will celebrate its first 20 years in Colombia. Eduardo Rueda, its managing director since 2002, spoke to Portafolio about the momentous occasion, important achievements, and what’s next for the company in the near term.

August 13, 2011

Daytona Beach News-Journal (Editorial)

It's been 19 months since President Barack Obama promised to sign free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea…. When and if the trade bills do arrive from Congress, the president needs to sign them. Trade creates jobs and exporting opportunities. It's perplexing that with an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, the president dithered on a jobs issue for so long. The three deals will increase exports by $13 billion annually, according to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

August 14, 2011

The Hill

Passing three pending free-trade deals remains a top priority for the White House and congressional leaders as competing interests nudge their way onto the September agenda. President Obama is vowing to provide a weekly list of new bills he wants Congress to consider, including a payroll tax cut and an extension of federal emergency unemployment benefits, while pressure rises to complete work on the long-delayed trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama.

August 15, 2011

Bloomberg

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp said a free-trade accord between Canada and Colombia that takes effect today puts the U.S. at a disadvantage and underscores the need to pass the nation’s own stalled agreements. “I urgently call on the president to send the job-creating trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to Congress without further delay,” Camp, a Michigan Republican, said today in a statement.

August 13, 2011

Coshocton Tribune

A free trade agreement proposal between the U.S. and Panama, South Korea and Colombia involving soybeans could be a boon to Ohio soybean farmers, including those in Coshocton County. 

August 13, 2011

The Salt Lake Tribune/Associated Press

When Congress gets back to work after Labor Day it will have the chance to achieve something that has largely eluded it for the entire year, passing legislation that might actually create jobs. With the battering debate over the debt ceiling over, the stage is set for Congress to approve and President Barack Obama to sign three big free-trade agreements and the most significant overhaul of the patent system in 60 years.

August 16, 2011

San Antonio Express-News

In a Rose Garden speech this month, President Barack Obama laid out his plan to invigorate job growth. The president wants to extend payroll tax cuts for another year, create an infrastructure bank and reform the patent process — all decent proposals. The president also called on Congress to pass three long-stalled free-trade agreements. Those trade pacts — with Colombia, Korea and Panama — could provide an immediate boost to the U.S. economy.

August 15, 2011

Plain Dealer

Our neighbors to the north have taken an important step to expand their economic reach, and the United States would be wise to follow suit. On Monday, Canada's free-trade agreement with Colombia went into effect. Canada expects to expand significantly on the $1.4 billion in exports sold to Colombia last year, inpart by moving more agricultural products, including corn and soybeans. The prospect of Colombian markets being thrown open to those two commodities, in particular, ought to concern the many Ohio farmers for whom exports is an important source of income.

August 16, 2011

The Post and Courier

News that the U.S. trade deficit shot upwards in June to near record heights is a reminder that the steady export growth President Barack Obama has been counting on to restore U.S. economic health has yet to materialize. One significant reason is the administration's continuing ambivalence about free trade. Instead of pushing for adoption of trade agreements his party has held up for at least five years, Mr. Obama continues to raise obstacles to their early ratification by Congress.

August 15, 2011

Investor’s Business Daily

Politics: These days, what would a firm that outsourced 400,000 U.S. jobs be called? The answer: labor union. Monday's Canada-Colombia free-trade pact is its masterpiece. Leo Gerard, the proudly Canadian president of the United Steelworkers Union, is one of many who ought to stand up and take a bow. He and his fellow Big Labor union bosses loudly opposed the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, using their political muscle to keep the already-negotiated deal on ice in Congress and the White House for nearly five years. It's come at a massive cost to American workers' jobs.

August 17, 2011

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)

…If President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are as serious as they say about job creation, then any jobs agenda must include… Passing the Pending Trade Agreements: 97 percent of identified U.S. exporters are small businesses, yet that represents a small fraction of those that could compete globally if trade barriers were reduced. This is why the Obama administration must expedite sending to Congress the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

August 17, 2011

Pottstown (PA) Mercury

Steve and Cokie Roberts, Columnists

The economic news remains dreadful —stock markets, credit ratings and consumer confidence are all plunging. Worse yet, the administration has few tools available to reverse the trend. New stimulus spending is politically impossible, and interest rates are already at rock bottom. But two useful moves could be made now that, over time, would improve America's job picture and economic health. One is to pass three trade agreements — with South Korea, Panama and Colombia — that have been languishing on Capitol Hill for years.

August 16, 2011

CNN

Trade deals with Korea and Panama and Colombia, we know can create tens of thousands of jobs here in the United States.So there are a number of things that we've already got pending before Congress, and what I have been saying to crowds all across the country -- it's been getting a good reception -- is what they want to see is Democrats and Republicans putting country before party, and going ahead and taking action in terms of move the economy forward as quickly as possible.

August 16, 2011

FoxNews

With President Obama touring the Midwest, and Congress out on recess, allies Canada and Colombia have entered a free trade agreement putting American businesses at a competitive disadvantage. The U.S. has negotiated free trade pacts with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, but they have yet to be ratified. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who is the Chairman of the House Trade Subcommittee, told Fox News, "With our economy struggling, we need new consumers - for our businesses, for our workers, for our farmers. But America has been off the trade field, and our competitors like Canada, like Europe, like China have moved very aggressively to take these new markets. "The practical impact is Canadian farmers can now sell their wheat to Colombia duty-free, while American farmers must pay a 13 percent tariff.

August 18, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk is making a concerted push to build public support for long-stalled trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. His challenge, as he put it, is to overcome a "creeping cynicism of the American public" that free trade is a one-way street…. Kirk made a compelling case that delayed ratification of those bilateral trade agreements is costing American job opportunities.

August 19, 2011

Washington Times

By Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group

Now that Congress is returning from the August recess with plans to vote on pending free-trade agreements, partisan bickering must not be allowed to kill the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The Colombia of President Juan Manuel Santos is a far different country from the Colombia of his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe. Liberals should recognize that some progress has been made on human rights concerns that kept them from supporting the agreement for nearly five years. It is time for the United States to recognize that progress by passing the bilateral FTA, which virtually eliminates tariff and other trade barriers between the two countries.

August 19, 2011

Oregonian

By Peter Cleveland, Vice President of Global Public Policy, Intel Corp.

According to a recent study commissioned by the Portland Business Alliance, one quarter of Oregon's total manufacturing jobs in 2008 depended on exporting. For Intel Corp., the largest private employer in the state, foreign markets are the greatest driver of growth for the company. We depend on the ingenuity, education and experience of 16,000 Oregonians to manufacture our products here to ship and sell abroad….FTAs not only help American companies compete on price by reducing tariffs on products and services, but they also specify rules around strong intellectual property enforcement, e-commerce enablement, state-of-the-art public participation and technology standard setting.

August 18, 2011

The Hill

By J. Patrick Boyle, President & CEO, American Meat Institute

Our study found that passage and implementation of the Korean, Colombian and Panamanian FTAs would represent an additional $2.3 billion in exports and create 29,524 badly needed jobs here at home. Many of these jobs are in rural areas of the U.S. where prospects of true economic development are seldom presented. Not only is this roadblock hindering job creation, it’s also causing U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors continual loss of global market share to our competitors, such as the European Union,Canada and Australia.

August 19, 2011

Sacramento Bee

Kirk was in town to continue a nationwide tour promoting pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. If approved by Congress, Kirk said, the FTAs will benefit California businesses and farms…. Kirk cited California as a prime example of the benefits of free trade agreements, particularly agriculture. For example, nearly a quarter of state agriculture production is exported; about 40 percent of exports out of the Port of Oakland are ag exports.

August 19, 2011

WJBC

A number of agricultural leaders from across Illinois gathered on Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair earlier this week torally support for pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. The agreements would reduce or remove tariffs on U.S. products being shipped to those countries. It is estimated that these FTAs would create or support 27,000 American jobs at a time when the country’s unemployment rate remains above 9%.

August 16, 2011

Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram

U.S. Trade Representative Ronald Kirk toured the Port of Los Angeles on Tuesday to tout the benefits of a pending free trade accord withSouth Korea, Colombia and Panama. The deal has stalled in Congress for several years, but could potentially bolster exports by $12 billion annually and create about 70,000 jobs nationwide, Kirk said. "These three agreements are particularly critical," Kirk said during the first of a three-day tour through California to promote the trade deals. "Each of them have very strong promise," he said. "One practical reality is that they are ready to go, they give us an immediate shot in the arm in terms of helping to get our economy going and they create jobs."

August 20, 2011

Wall Street Journal

President Obama says he wants to get the U.S. economy growing, so here's a tip that may help: In order for Congress to ratify free-trade agreements, the White House must first send the signed deals to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. 

August 22, 2011

The Daily Cougar (University of Houston)

By Marc Anderson, third-year cell biology Ph.D. Student, University of Houston

If passed, the FTAs will phase out tariffs on US imports, making our products cheaper and increasing their demand in foreign markets…. Simply stated, the economic and geopolitical gains obtained by approving the FTAs cannot be replicated in any other fashion.

August 21, 2011

Minneapolis Star Tribune

By J. Patrick Boyle, President and CEO, American Meat Institute

Our study found that passage and implementation of the Korean, Colombian and Panamanian FTAs would represent an additional $2.3 billion in exports and create 29,524 badly needed jobs here at home. Many of these jobs are in rural areas of the U.S. where prospects of true economic development are seldom presented. Not only is this roadblock hindering job creation, it's also causing U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors continual loss of global market share to our competitors, such as the European Union, Canada and Australia.

August 21, 2011

Wisconsin State Journal

By Robert Johns, Cuba City

While members of Congress are at home during August recess, we urge them to act swiftly when they return to Washington in September to pass the pending agreements and put an end to the United States missing out on market share.

August 22, 2011

KUHF-FM

Over the past few years, Korea, Panama and especially Colombia have all stepped up their business with the city, even though the U.S. has yet to ratify the trade agreements it signed with them under President Bush. But there’s a growing concern the three trading partners may be running out of patience. Gabriel Silva is Colombia’s ambassador to the U.S.. “Colombia’s a close friend and Colombia wants to remain a very close friend of the U.S., and that’s why the first FTA we signed was the one with the U.S.. And we waited and waited for almost five years now, and the Colombian people are losing their faith that this is a special partnership.”  Colombia just concluded a trade agreement with Canada. That will eat into Texas’ exports of everything from beef to energy services. “More than 1300 companies based in Texas export to Colombia, and because of the delay in the FTA, they have been paying tariffs that they shouldn’t be paying, and that’s been affecting their ability to expand their market in Colombia.”

August 22, 2011

Herald-Review

By Garry Niemeyer, Vice President, Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association (Letter to the Editor)

The United States is the largest producer and exporter of corn in the world. Developing new markets for our country's agricultural products is vital to producer income and it also helps our sector lead the nation in economic growth and international competitiveness. USDA is forecasting the United States will reach a record high $135.5 billion in exports this year. Agriculture's trade surplus is not something other sectors of our economy achieve. Passing FTAs will ensure our market share stays strong in existing and developing markets.

August 23, 2011

Carolina-Virginia Farmer

The free trade agreement between Canada and Colombia became official last week. Most agricultural products from Canada will now enter Colombia duty free. U.S. products are still subject to a base tariff of 10% as the wait continues for the pending free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia to be sent to Congress and passed.

August 23, 2011

Savannah Morning News

Demetrios Marantis, deputy U.S. trade representative, was in Savannah to tour the port and lobby for support of pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia…. Marantis said the free trade agreements, started during the Bush Administration, are key to the Obama administration’s job-creating agenda…. The agreements are likely to come up in the U.S. House and Senate in September, he said. “If we don’t pass them quickly, we put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage,” Marantis said.

August 23, 2011

Evanston Patch

Job creation can come in a variety of forms, and more than 60 representatives of the local business community learned how developing the contacts and expertise to export products outside the United States can help…. Dold and Michael Choi of the U.S. Department of Commerce told the group about the potential advantages of pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Dold believes passage of these agreements and the resulting elimination of barriers will spur job growth.

August 22, 2011

WSAV (Savannah, GA)

Monday, Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, deputy U.S. Trade Representative, visited the Port of Savannah, touting new trade agreements with Korea, Columbia and Panama. "And the potential that it has to really grow as we pass these Free Trade Agreements and as we export more from Georgia and export from from the U.S. I mean - the Port of Savannah really is poised to continue its great growth."… "And the amazing opportunities that exist for Savannah's port in terms of taking exports of U.S. manufactured goods, agriculture goods around the world, particularly to Korea, Columbia, and Panama," he said.

August 23, 2011

Dodge City Daily Globe

By Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-1)

With unemployment lagging, manufacturing declining, and overall economic growth stagnating, these agreements would provide immediate relief and opportunity to reverse these negative trends. Like every other state in the nation, Kansas would benefit tremendously both in economic activity and job creation as a result of finalizing these agreements. According to the Kansas Farm Bureau, our state is likely export $106 million in agricultural goods to Korea, $21 million to Colombia, and $1 million to Panama. This is not chump change; this would provide a much-needed boost to our rural communities in particular.  More than a thousand new jobs would be supported. And, what’s more is that trade-related jobs pay up to 18 percent more. When Washington is in search of an easy — and inexpensive — way to get Americans back to work and money back in their pockets, this is a golden ticket.

August 23, 2011

The Repository (Stark County, OH)

By Jeff Wuebker, President, Ohio Soybean Association (Letter to the Editor)

The FTAs with South Korea, Colombia and Panama are projected to drive several billion dollars in additional U.S. agricultural exports of soybeans, corn, wheat, livestock and poultry. It is imperative for our economy and the continued viability of our agricultural exports that this becomes a top priority for our lawmakers. Please contact your federal elected officials to request immediate passage and implementation of these FTAs.

August 23, 2011

Washington Times

By Daniel Griswold, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute

Exports allow American companies to raise productivity through specialization and economies of scale. A quarter of a million small- and medium-sized U.S. companies are now selling abroad, accounting for almost a third of U.S. exports. Trade agreements such as NAFTA and the pending agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama give U.S. exporters the level playing field the politicians say they want.

August 29, 2011

The Hill

By Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)

One important action Congress should take when it returns in September is to pass a package of free-trade agreements that will generate thousands of jobs in Florida and elsewhere. The Obama Administration estimates that as many as 250,000 new American jobs could be created, if we adopt pending agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

August 30, 2011

News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)

Coming to a state that has lost thousands of manufacturing and textile jobs to other countries because of free-trade agreements to argue for yet another one sounds a bit foolhardy. But Gabriel Silva, the Colombian ambassador to the United States, sees the proposed agreement between his country and the United States as a smart move for North Carolina…. But Silva also calls the agreement, "a job-defending opportunity."

August 29, 2011

AGRINET News Network

August 29, 2011

Washington Post

Unfortunately, while Obama dithers the U.S. is losing market share. (“Colombia’s ambassador to the United States, Gabriel Silva Lujan,” says the editorial, “notes that U.S. farmers once claimed 46 percent of Colombia’s food import market. Now the proportion is 20 percent — and likely to go lower. A free trade pact between Colombia and Canada, another big wheat exporter, went into effect last week.”)

August 30, 2011

Washington Post

President Obama and most congressional Republicans agree that the three free-trade agreements between the United States and Colombia, South Korea and Panama would boost U.S. exports and promote U.S. economic growth. Alas, they still have not passed Congress because of partisan politics.

August 29, 2011

Santa Fe Radio Café