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  • Want Congressional Harmony? Try Free Trade Agreements

    Congress keeps threatening to shut down over the budget, but there is at least one thing the two houses can agree on. Pending free trade agreements have bipartisan support in both the House and Senate; all that is needed is for President Obama to send them to Congress, so that they can be passed.

    Congressman Kevin Brady (R–TX), vice chairman and top Republican on the Joint Economic Committee and chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, spoke at the Heritage Bloggers Briefing on the pending free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea.

    Congressman Brady began with the argument that trade ought to be “a basic economic freedom” and said that the pending agreements with these countries are a part of that freedom. The countries he mentioned constitute a potential $13 billion of new sales for U.S. companies in manufacturing, agriculture, and industry.

    Trade with South Korea is especially crucial because, in the congressman’s words, “We need to be in China’s backyard.”

    Panama and Colombia are growing trading partners in Latin America, and the United States puts itself at a disadvantage when other nations engage in free trade and the U.S. doesn’t. Brady said if the United States wants to maintain its status as an economic world leader, it must keep up with the pace of other nations and expand its participation in the world market.

    Listen to Representative Brady’s full comments on free trade, along with a discussion of his Maximizing America’s Prosperity (MAP) Act, here.

    Charles Kaupke is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Want Congressional Harmony? Try Free Trade Agreements

    1. R. Lawson says:

      No wonder Congress has such a high disapproval rating. The one thing most Americans agree on is that free trade harms American jobs. Our trade imbalances support that belief.

      Enough jobs have been offshored. Free trade may benefit the elite, but it is harming the base of this nation.

      • Guest says:

        Very good points, R. Lawson
        Most Americans are adamantly opposed to Free Trade Agreements.
        It is my personal belief that they are directly responsible for the current economic problems that the USA is experiencing, and that economics here will only grow worse as time progresses. They cannot send American jobs to other nations by the hundreds of thousands and expect to be able to replace all of those jobs. We have factories closing every day in the United States already, thousands of people in virtually every county in America who have lost jobs and are unable to find work, and the very people who are supposed to represent us, who are supposed to be working for our betterment say, with their continued push for something that they know is harming American job markets, that they do not care for America, for the American workers. It is not only congress pushing for these to be passed; Obama is strongly pushing them as well. Another broken campaign promise…. didn't he promise to try to get rid of free trade agreements when he was running for office? Not only did he 'not' do that, he has signed new ones while in office already, and he is strongly pushing for these three to be signed.

    2. Juliet DiPietro says:

      We need jobs here at home, so we can trade our products worldwide. Could that be a start?

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