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The Passage Of The Colombia, Panama And South Korea Free Trade Agreements

Rep. Dan Burton

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Mr. Speaker, I rise in favor of all three free trade agreements that we passed this week. I have been a strong supporter of these agreements for as long as we have been waiting for them to be submitted to Congress. This is a real jobs bill that will certainly help our economy and help people get back to work without spending a dime of the taxpayer's money.

As the Administration has sat on these agreements, the United States has been left in the wake of our international partners who have been able to finalize and benefit from agreements that didn't include us. If the United States does not lead in the Global Economy, it will be forced to follow and the FTAs represent our most definitive step towards leveling the playing field for our workers, farmers, and consumers. To continue to thrive as the greatest economy in the world, we have to put ourselves into a position to compete.

These agreements will enable the private sector to create thousands of jobs both in my home state of Indiana and in the United States at large. In Indiana, Hoosiers should particularly benefit, given that we have seen a 138 percent increase in exports over the past thirteen years. These free trade agreements will cause this number to skyrocket as tariffs and penalties are removed for U.S. companies making capital available to create more jobs. This is further demonstrated by the fact that 42 percent of all U.S. jobs are connected to international trade and 15,752 jobs in my home district are directly supported by exports. By increasing the market share for U.S. companies and eliminating barriers and high tariffs, these companies will increase their profits and use that money to hire new employees. Every $1 billion in increased exports generates an estimated 25,000 new jobs in all sectors of the economy. It is no longer enough for us to simply buy American, to compete in this harsh environment globally we are going to have to sell American as well.

These free trade agreements are an obvious solution to the problem of slow economic growth. This is a package that will actually stimulate, unlike others that have been passed before. I commend the passage of these agreements. Let's continue to enable America to get back to work.