With one-in-three Washington state jobs tied to trade, one of the best ways to turn our economy around is to enact fair trade agreements, and follow through on the federal government’s existing trade commitments.
These simple steps would immediately level the playing field for Central Washington farmers and businesses, remove onerous tariffs on local products and expand export opportunities – at no cost to taxpayers.
That’s why I am pushing this Congress to move forward with fair trade agreements involving Colombia, South Korea and Panama. These agreements have already been negotiated and are simply waiting for an up-or-down vote in Congress.
In the case of the Colombian agreement, tariffs would immediately disappear on many Washington state products including apples, cherries, pears, beef, potatoes, wheat, and dairy. This would provide new opportunities for our businesses, workers and farmers. Yet, Democrats blocked a vote on this fair trade deal for over three years. As a result, our farmers and businesses have lost ground to global competitors.
President Obama must send these trade agreements to Congress as soon as possible. These no-cost solutions to job creation are key to economic recovery.