Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus was forced to cancel a planned “mock” markup of the draft implementing bills for the pending trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea Thursday. The Committee’s Republican members boycotted the meeting – leaving Baucus without a quorum to conduct business. The Montana Senator expressed disappointment that his colleagues decided not to join in the discussion of these agreements – stating that the boycott delayed the opportunity to pass important job-creation legislation. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk also expressed disappointment – stating that Finance Republicans have repeatedly called on the Obama Administration to send these agreements to Congress for a vote. He said the agreements were there – and Finance Republicans were not.
Baucus stressed that the pending free trade agreements – together with Trade Adjustment Assistance – will create 250-thousand jobs and increase exports by 13-billion dollars. He says that’s the growth and job creation the country needs in these tough economic times. He adds that every day we delay – we lose ground to our competitors. Korea’s trade agreement with the EU enters into force today (Friday) – and Colombia’s agreement with Canada enters into force in August.
Source: NAFB News Service
Posted by Haylie Shipp