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President Obama Should Stop Letting Unions Hold Up Job-Creating Free Trade Agreements | Missouri Political News Service

President Obama Should Stop Letting Unions Hold Up Job-Creating Free Trade Agreements

September 7th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

The Washington Post writes, “Public pessimism about the direction of the country has jumped to its highest level in nearly three years, erasing the sense of hope that followed President Obama’s inauguration and pushing his approval ratings to a record low, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. More than 60 percent of those surveyed say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the economy and, what has become issue No. 1, the stagnant jobs situation. Just 43 percent now approve of the job he is doing overall, a new career low; 53 percent disapprove, a new high. As part of a reinvigorated effort to regain momentum as he heads toward the 2012 election year, Obama traveled to Detroit on Monday for a Labor Day appearance that served as a prelude to his speech Thursday to a joint session of Congress in which he will unveil new proposals to create jobs.”

In an op-ed for The Post today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell suggests, “One thing [the president] could do immediately is finalize the free-trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama that have been languishing on his desk.” He points out, “For nearly three years, Republicans and a number of Democrats have been calling on the president to approve these deals to create a level playing field with America’s competitors overseas, vastly expand the market for U.S. goods, strengthen our ties with three important allies and create jobs for Americans. Yet the deals have been stuck at the White House since Inauguration Day.”

So what’s preventing these important agreements from moving forward? As Leader McConnell explains, it’s pressure on the White House and Democrats from unions. “Publicly, the White House claims to support all three agreements. It even said in July that Republicans are the ones standing in the way of ratification. But this is absurd because Congress can’t ratify trade agreements until the president submits them for congressional approval. He knows as well as I do that once he does, all three would garner wide bipartisan support. What’s the real holdup? For three years, the administration has delayed finalizing these deals because unions have been extracting concessions in exchange for their support. Early on, they demanded further concessions and political reforms from our trading partners, all of which have been satisfied.”

It’s long past time for President Obama to submit these free trade agreements to Congress. They have bipartisan support and bipartisan agreement that they will create jobs. With 14 million Americans out of work, now is not the time to let big labor unions continue to hold up job-creating free trade agreements with key allies.


Rasmussen Reports:

 New High: 52% Predict Economy Will Be Weaker A Year From Now

Just 34% Say America’s Best Days in the Future



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