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  • Guest Blogger: Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) on U.S. - Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

    This past Sunday marked an important anniversary for the American economy. On November 22, 2006, the United States and Colombia signed the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement. This agreement would immediately eliminate tariffs on U.S. exports to this important trading partner – creating billions in revenue for U.S. businesses and new jobs here in America.

    Unfortunately, it is an anniversary marked by missed opportunities. Instead of implementing this agreement when it was sent to Congress more than 18 months ago, Speaker Pelosi opted to block its consideration indefinitely.

    Passage of this agreement is a matter of fairness. Since 1991, more than 90 percent of Colombian products have enjoyed open and duty-free access to American markets. At the same time, U.S. exports have faced steep tariffs and other barriers that put our farmers and manufacturers at a disadvantage.

    With our unemployment rate at a 26-year high, we should be looking at every possible avenue to create jobs without continuing to add billions to the deficit. The Institute for International Economics estimates that implementation of this agreement would cause the value of U.S. exports to Colombia to increase by 44 percent. Passage of this agreement would provide an immediate economic boost to a wide range of businesses and create American jobs at a time when we need it the most.

    Colombia currently has a trade agreement pending with the Canadian Parliament, and they are in negotiations with the European Union. Failure to act soon will not only result in the loss of billions of dollars in new exports for American businesses and the resulting jobs that would be created, but it would also jeopardize the U.S.’s current market share in Colombia, which is the third largest importer of American goods in South America.

    Continued failure to even consider this agreement does not just mean missed opportunities for Americans in Colombia. It also sends a message to our other trading partners that the United States is not willing to engage in carefully-crafted fair trade deals that were negotiated in good faith by both sides, and could make it more difficult for American businesses to sell their goods elsewhere. With 95 percent of the world’s population lying outside of the United States, this could have very serious implications for our economy.
    My home state of Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the nation. Ranging from apples to computers, a mind-boggling one in three jobs in Washington is based on our exports to other countries. Opening new foreign markets isn’t just a bonus for my state – it is critical to job creation and the health of our economy.

    Unfortunately, boosting the economy and creating jobs through fair trade agreements does not seem to be a priority for this Congress. Those in control of the House of Representatives have refused to even allow a vote on this important agreement.

    There is no question that our country is facing unprecedented challenges. The annual budget deficit surpassed a trillion dollars – that is a one followed by 12 zeroes – for the first time ever earlier this year, and it continues to grow at an alarming rate.

    Instead of spending billions on bailout after bailout, growing the federal government by leaps and bounds, and passing bills that impose new taxes on job-creating small businesses, we should be enacting policies that help expand market opportunities and make it easier for American businesses to compete in the global marketplace. This is why I will continue my efforts to press Congressional leaders to allow an up or down vote on the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and other pending trade agreements that will level the playing field for American businesses.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on The Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Guest Blogger: Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) on U.S. - Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

    1. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Another example of the leadership we have come to expect.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      Everything that has strengthened and could strengthen this country has and continues to be denied.

    3. Pingback: Shopfloor » Blog Archive » On the Third Anniversary of U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreemen

    4. Virginia Vanden Bosc says:

      Yet another example of our Congress in a fog! How can we wake up our reps and senators to the fact that they are participating in America's destruction. 2010 is too far away. These Obama robots cannot see past their desire for pork for their districts and for themselves.

    5. Paul - North Carolin says:

      As an importer and export service provider its just another example of what is important to the administration…the American people or paying back union organizers for campaign contributions. Namely UAW / SEIU….

    6. Rita Lawrence, KC says:

      The erosion of our economy, moral, respect for Christianity seems to be the target of the leftist group who have control of our government. Keep calling them on their behaviors and speak the truth with courage. Look the oppressor in the face.

    7. Tim Az says:

      Looks like Hastings is going to have to be replaced. We can't afford representatives who will not accept the fact that the Mao-Bam administration along with the house and senate intend to collapse the free markey system. In order to install their utopian socialist govt.. Mr Hastings if you want to be a pale pastel that's great but you will do that on your own dime. We the people need freedom fighting representatives not cocktail party attendies. Avoiding the truth by making lame excuses for the opposition is not a recipe for success. These people are not misguided they have a guidance system that rivals thoughs of our best missiles. Stop being their enabler.

    8. Lwesson, Tejas says:

      I am not sure that the opening of the American market to vapid free trade is the way to gain prosperity for the average American. It is more akin to a Pandora's Box. The nation has seen it's manufacturing go overseas, it's jobs outsourced, the influx of foreigners to replace Americans done by corporate giants like Microsoft. Sure there are some sectors/individuals of the economy that benefit but the Nation as a whole does not.

      WE protected in the 19th Century many businesses/trades and the Nation prospered. I for one do not think it right nor fair to have to compete with the countless 3rd world peoples and their cruel masters. My Father did not risk his life in WW2 just so Wall Street hucksters can make a fast buck or Microsoft replace American citizens with 3rd world employees. For shame for shame!

      I notice that this site has a fond propensity to have persons of the "Free" Trade ilk constantly make blogs. Humm? So on one end the Obama charade is exposed for it's desire to "CHANGE" the country in damning ways and on another end I find the people involved in exposing Americans to unfair competition selling their wares if you will to the readers of this site. I think The Founding Fathers would take a very dim view of what is happening to the Country both from the denuding of manufacturing and from the fraud that the Usurper in Chief, Obama is doing.

    9. A. Scott, El Paso, T says:

      I see it as just another "crisis" in the making which will allow intervention of the Fed to say "I am here to help you!"

    10. Paul Agostino Wilmi says:

      Pelousi strikes again,what a shame if I as a former police officer threatened some one with jail and a fine for not participating in a health scheme I proposed I would be charged with coercion, Perlousi

      gets a round of applause from our democratic overseers, vote independant and clean out the congress we are being subjugated bye

    11. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      For Pelosi and the other Obamanites, it works perfectly well, if they really want to turn all of America into one big National Park!

    12. jerry says:

      i believe in fair trade not free trade.thats right for free trade is hurting our nation. itsd time to back to fair trade and collect duties and tarifs again.by doing this we brring jobs back to our country.cut our corperate tax frrom 35% to 110% or less now.we wwould bring back a lot of jobs and revenue to th4e USA!

    13. Mont-Royal Carpet Cl says:

      Excellent post , You really hit the

      nail on the head, I just don't think that people quite get it.

      I don't know how many individuals I've talked to concerning this very

      thing in the past month, and they just don't understand.

      I like you am involved with carpet restoration and it is

      quite good to see others this industry with like mentalities and thoughts

      Never the less, Excellent post! I plan to visit this blog from now on, on a regular basis

    14. Stuffing Envelopes H says:

      Hey there, it's very great to see a fellow biker blogger post their experiences. I'm really impressed by your blog, I

      really enjoyed the post prior this one as well, it just so happens that I was talking to someone about

      the same thing yesterday.

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