Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) sent a letter to President Obama today “urging him to not only take action on the pending U.S-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, but also on trade agreements with Colombia and Panama that were negotiated over three years ago,” according to a joint press release.
Here is an excerpt of the letter:
We appreciate your support for prompt implementation of the U.S. – South Korea Free Trade Agreement. This agreement, once implemented, will play an important role in promoting economic growth in the United States, expand the economic presence of the United States in the Asia–Pacific region, and strengthen our ties with South Korea, a close ally of the United States. Most importantly, it will support hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs here in the U.S.
We are disappointed, however, not to see the same level of commitment from your administration for trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Both agreements were signed by the previous administration and approved by our trading partners more than three years ago. We urge your support in passing these through Congress without delay. By boosting exports and opening foreign markets to U.S. businesses, these agreements will benefit U.S. workers and contribute to economic growth in the U.S. at a time when it is sorely needed.
Finally, given what we believe is broad, bipartisan support in Congress for these agreements, we would like to make clear that we see no need for further negotiations with Colombia and Panama. As currently written, they are solid agreements which benefit our nation and our workers. We are confident that they would receive strong support in the Senate and the House of Representatives. We urge you to immediately engage with Congress to achieve Congressional approval to get these agreements signed into law as soon as possible.