Majority Leader Hoyer: Pass FTAs with Colombia, Panama

By January 26, 2010Trade

From Reuters, reporting on remarks by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer after his speech today at the National Press Club. “We ought to pass them,” he said of the still-pending Free Trade Agreements with Colombia and Panama. The deal with South Korea needs more work.

“Basically, however, I believe that America can compete with the rest of the world if we have a level and fair trading field. So I’m one of those that believes that trade is helpful and creates jobs over the long run.”

Yes, Hoyer said pretty much the same thing when he spoke to the National Association of Manufacturers last September, but he was right then and he’s right now.

Reporters asked NAM President John Engler about trade today on a conference call about the Milken Institute study, “Jobs for America.” Engler said any discussion about jobs in the President’s State of the Union should embrace trade expansion: “We think if they’re serious on the jobs front, they have to look at trade. We’ve got a lot of companies that send a big amount of their production abroad for sale.”

More on Hoyer’s remarks, with a strangely inclusive lead, from AFP.

Earlier today, Bloomberg moved a larger piece about the Obama Administration’s pallid trade agenda, reporting the disappointment of major exporters like Caterpillar. Also, the following seems like a fair assessment:

[Obama’s] trade agenda remains modest, said William Reinsch, president of the Washington-based National Foreign Trade Council, which represents exporters such as Boeing Co.

There’s a split in the administration between economic advisers who support more trade pacts and political operatives who say doing so would enrage Democratic lawmakers and their union supporters, Reinsch said in an interview.

“So far the political people are winning,” he said.

Yeah. Jobs or politics, politics or jobs.

Leave a Reply