Going to Iowa, Mr. President? Talk Trade

By April 23, 2010Economy, Trade

From The Sioux City Journal, “Obama headed to southeast Iowa, won’t stop in NW Iowa“:

CEDAR RAPIDS — When he comes to southeast Iowa next week, President Obama should talk about South Korea, Colombia and Panama, Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday.

The president needs to address small business job creation and that means opening markets in those countries so U.S. manufacturers, producers and workers can compete on a level playing field, the Iowa Republican said.

Preliminary plans call for Obama’s White House to Main Street Tour to make stops in Fort Madison, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa and April 27 between stops in Illinois and Missouri.

Senator Grassley (R-IA) used a darn good example to make his argument:

He cited Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar as an example of Midwest-based manufacturer that is at a disadvantage because of the lack of free-trade agreements. Equipment Caterpillar builds in Europe can be shipped to Colombia, for example, duty-free because of trade agreements, Grassley said.

“If they are made in Peoria, they pay a 35 percent tariff,” he said. “So level the playing field for the American worker by getting these agreements passed.”

And since we’re mentioning Sioux City, thanks to the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce for inviting NAM President John Engler to speak to the group during their Washington Conference this week. All the reports we’ve heard is that the visit went very well.

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