President Bush delivered remarks on the importance of trade on the South Lawn of the White House this morning to cap off World Trade Week. The President highlighted why exports are so important to our economy today and called on Speaker Pelosi to allow a vote on the pending Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement in the House of Representatives. The event was set to a great back drop of manufactured products: a Caterpillar loader, a Case Tractor, and the President delivered his speech right next to a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The case for trade was made quite simply:
Trade is in the interests of the working people here in America, pure and simple. Trade is in the interests of small business owners and farmers and ranchers, pure and simple. And that’s why I’m a strong believer that the United States Congress needs to pass trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
The President also highlighted how the Colombia agreement will help restore fair trade for U.S. manufacturers:
Most of the goods coming from Colombia enter America duty-free — isn’t that interesting? — as a result of actions of Congress in the past. Most goods that Colombia makes come to our country without any tax. And I’ve just described to you the goods and services we send to Colombia are taxed. And that, frankly, doesn’t seem very fair to me. It didn’t seem fair to the Colombian government, either. They agree with me: Let’s just treat each other fairly.
Their goods are not taxed; our goods are. It seems unfair to me. And people of Congress should understand how unfair it is to the workers in their districts, or the farmers in their districts, or the people working hard for a living in their districts, that count upon selling goods overseas.