Categorized | Senate News Briefing

Obama Still Stalling Free Trade Agreements While Pointing Fingers At Congress

Yesterday, President Obama told a crowd of workers in Michigan, “Send a message to Congress to come to an agreement on trade deals that will level the playing field and open markets to our businesses –- so we can sell more goods to countries around the world. . . . Those trade bills are teed up; they’re ready to go.  Let’s get it done.” In his weekly address last week the president said, “It’s time Congress finally passed a set of trade deals that would help displaced workers looking for new jobs, and that would allow our businesses to sell more products in countries in Asia and South America – products stamped with three words: Made in America.” And in a press gaggle on Air Force One yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney emphasized that Obama “has talked very explicitly about the measures that this Congress could take and very easily pass because they have bipartisan support — and have had bipartisan support in the past, including passage of free trade agreements . . . .”


President Obama is right: Congress should pass these free trade agreements that have been languishing for years. But it is the White House that continues to stall them. It is the president’s job to submit these agreements to Congress, and so far he still has not done so, despite talking about them over and over again. In fact, all 3 of these free trade agreements, with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, were completed under the Bush administration, but Democrats have put up roadblock after roadblock to their passage. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) outright blocked the Colombia agreement while Democrats controlled the House, and after President Obama was inaugurated he went about renegotiating these agreements, losing even more time.


Sen. John Thune (R-SD) criticized the president for this in an op-ed for Politico yesterday: “For the deals to go into effect, the president must officially submit [the free trade agreements] to Congress for consideration. But Democrats in Congress blocked any possibility of a debate on the agreements until President Barack Obama took office. Now he has refused to send them down Pennsylvania Avenue to Congress.”


Sen. Thune noted the consequences of the White House’s delay: “Over the past two years, the U.S. has lost $1 billion in agricultural exports to Colombia, thanks to the Obama administration’s failure to move the agreement. And it is about to get worse. Colombia recently completed a trade agreement with Canada that is scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 15. That means even more lost opportunities and even less market share for U.S. products. . . . This same thing is happening in South Korea, where the European Union signed a deal that went into effect on July 1, putting U.S. producers at a significant disadvantage. Customs data suggests that EU exports to South Korea have already started to increase – those are market opportunities that should be going to Americans. When it comes to new trade deals that could open markets for Americans, failure to act means falling further and further behind the competition.”


As Sen. Thune wrote, “The administration has run out of excuses for not submitting the trade agreements to Congress. . . . 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.”

# Senate News Briefing

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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