"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

McConnell To Obama: Stop Calling On Congress To Pass Trade Agreements You Haven’t Submitted

August 23rd, 2011 by MarkTwain · No Comments

During his bus tour of Midwest, which Reuters noted has an “unmistakable campaign style”, while the White House furiously denies it, President Obama has repeatedly called on Congress to pass three languishing free trade agreements.

Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa, “We’ve got pending trade legislation. . . . And my general attitude is, why don’t we want to open up markets so that the extraordinary bounty of the heartland of America is making its way there, but also manufacturing is making its way there. Look, we’ve got a whole bunch of Kias and Hyundais here in the United States of America on our roads, and that’s fine and good. But I want some Chryslers and some GMs and some Fords on the roads of the South Korea as well. We should go ahead and get those trade deals done.”

And in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, the president said, “[W]e’ve put together a package that is going to allow us to start selling some Chevys and some Fords to Korea so that — we don’t mind having Hyundais and Kias here, but we want some ‘Made in America’ stuff in other countries.  That’s something that Congress could do right now.”

The president is referring mostly to a free trade agreement with South Korea, which was initially finalized in 2007 by President Bush, which, along with deals with Colombia and Panama, have been stalled by Democrats for years.

Inexplicably, President Obama continues to stall these agreements after spending time attempting to renegotiate pieces of them. In recent weeks, he’s taken to calling on Congress to pass these agreements, but he still has not sent them to Capitol Hill for approval.

In a statement on the pending free trade agreements, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The President’s recent calls for Congress to pass the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama—despite the opposition from so many in his own party—is an encouraging sign for economic opportunity here at home. Expanding trade with these allies will create jobs and opportunities but they have been delayed since the President came to office. At a time when millions of Americans are out of work and businesses are looking for opportunities to hire, we must do everything we can to create an environment where jobs can come back.

“So it is my hope,” Leader McConnell said, “that the President, who continues to refuse to send these agreements to Congress while simultaneously calling for Congress to act, will finally resolve this contradiction by sending the agreements immediately—and that he’ll work with us on the extension of Trade Promotion Authority so that we can continue to expand opportunities for American entrepreneurs and our farmers and ranchers.”

Congress should pass these free trade agreements—they should have passed years ago—but Congress cannot pass them until the White House submits them for approval. President Obama is right that these free trade agreements will create jobs and should be passed swiftly. Why, then, does he continue to stall and point fingers at Congress when it’s up to the White House to take the next step to get these trade agreements approved?

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 44%, Democrats 38%

 

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