Saturday, August 20, 2011

1,733 Days and Counting. The Biggest Trade Barrier to the 3 Free Trade Agreements? Barack Obama

It's now been 1,733 days since the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement was signed on November 22, 2006, and during that time almost $4 billion of tarrifs have been imposed on U.S. exports to Colombia. 

It's now been 570 days since President Obama's first State of the Union address on January 27, 2010, where he outlined his plan to help U.S. businesses double exports over the next five years and in the process add two million American jobs. Further, Obama warned that “If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores. We have to seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are." 

Well, that's exactly what’s happening , but it’s not the good part about doubling exports and adding U.S. jobs, it’s the bad part about the U.S. sitting on the sidelines while Colombia and Panama negotiate free trade agreements (FTAs) with the European Union and Canada, and while Korea finalizes an FTA with the European Union. Meanwhile, America’s FTAs with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, all signed back in 2006 or 2007, are now languishing into their fourth or fifth year awaiting Congressional approval.


What makes those delays especially inexcusable is the fact that the main beneficiaries of the stalled free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama would actually be American companies and workers, because the agreements would open up those markets to U.S. exports by eliminating the stiff tariffs currently imposed on our products (while 90 percent of Colombian and Panamanian imports currently enter the U.S. duty-free).

Here's the latest on the FTAs from today's WSJ:

"President Obama says he wants to get the U.S. economy growing, so here's a tip that may help: In order for Congress to ratify free-trade agreements, the White House must first send the signed deals to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. 

On his three-state tour in the Midwest this week, Mr. Obama repeatedly told audiences that the Korea, Colombia and Panama free-trade deals would all be law by now if not for an obstructionist Congress. Passing the deals is something Congress "could do right now," he said. Except that's not true. Congress can't pass the agreements "right now" because it doesn't have them. They are still sitting on the President's desk. Seriously.

If you are surprised to learn this, you are not alone. White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest only learned the news on Friday during a press conference. Asked why the FTAs haven't been sent, he responded, "We have not sent them over?"

19 Comments:

At 8/20/2011 7:37 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Staying the course?:

After Vacation, Obama Vows To Focus On Jobs
NPR
August 18, 2011

OBAMA: Over the course of the next few weeks, I'm going to be putting out more proposals to put people to work right now and some of them - yes. Some of them cost money...We need roads and bridges and schools all across the country that could be rebuilt, and all those folks who got laid off from construction because the economy went south or the housing bubble burst, they're dying for work.

(Former White House economic advisor Jared Bernstein says the government can encourage job growth with more spending now and offset the cost with bigger savings later).

 
At 8/20/2011 7:43 PM, Blogger Cabodog said...

Not. A. Clue.

But, already hitting the campaign trail for 2012.

Let's hope the majority of voters see past the charade in 14.5 months.

 
At 8/20/2011 7:43 PM, Blogger Paul said...

This crystallizes the games ourAlinskyite President plays while the economy falls off a cliff. It is a sickening, cynical political strategy. We are truly screwed if he wins another term.

 
At 8/20/2011 7:46 PM, Blogger Tom said...

President Vacation hasn't the balls to stand up to the unions. While the money went to the campaign and not his pocket, the guy's taken the bribe.

 
At 8/20/2011 9:11 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Meanwhile, America’s FTAs with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, all signed back in 2006 or 2007, are now languishing into their fourth or fifth year awaiting Congressional approval."

ummmm....

 
At 8/21/2011 8:43 AM, Blogger rjs said...

what happens to the free trade agreements if he sends them to congress & they're rejected?

 
At 8/21/2011 9:07 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"what happens to the free trade agreements if he sends them to congress & they're rejected?"...

Consider the following Washington Times article rjs: Three free-trade agreements linked to aid for workers

 
At 8/21/2011 10:06 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Larry, what is your point?

 
At 8/21/2011 12:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

well ...who is holding it up - Obama or Congress?

did Obama veto it?

 
At 8/21/2011 3:30 PM, Blogger Bobby Caygeon said...

Um Larry, in order for congress to sign these agreements the President must SEND it to them. He has not. They are sitting on his desk. the President is holding this up as he has for 3 years.

My god, the collective functioning IQ of leftist shills has to be 0. Do they have any sense how anything works in reality?

 
At 8/21/2011 3:43 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

have you read this:

http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/9825/u-s-set-to-pass-trade-deals-with-colombia-panama-and-s-korea

U.S. Set to Pass Trade Deals With Colombia, Panama and S. Korea

....
More recently, however, Obama has adopted the free trade agenda with a convert's fervor. He has endorsed the three deals in primetime TV addresses, weekend YouTube messages and stump speeches. Addressing workers in Michigan last week, he said, "Send a message to Congress to come to an agreement on trade deals that will level the playing field and open markets to our businesses, so we can sell more goods to countries around the world. . . . Those trade bills are teed up; they're ready to go. Let's get it done."

you know..with all this right wing propaganda / disinformation crapping up the airwaves and web.. it's hard to tell what the truth is sometimes.

so my first instinct if the report is coming from usual suspects is to adopt the fool me once.. no more.. stance...

 
At 8/21/2011 7:45 PM, Blogger Carolina said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/21/2011 11:05 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Larry,

"..you know..with all this right wing propaganda / disinformation crapping up the airwaves and web.. it's hard to tell what the truth is sometimes."

Just curious, still pretending to be MrNonpartisanjustwantthefactsnothingelse guy?

The FTA hasn't passed because Democrats have successfully kept it bottled up. Pelosi made clear from the moment the Democrats took over the Congress in '07 that she wouldn't even allow a vote. Bush tried to force the issue by submitting it on the 90 day Fast Track. The 90 days came and went.
Your hero Obama has spent years now jerking the Colombians around, hemming and hawing. He likes to play the pragmatist, but his heart is with the union thugs and "social justice" Chavista cretins who despise the Colombian government. As a Senator, he voted against every FTA that came to a vote except the Peru deal. He didn't bother to show up the day that deal was voted on. As a Presidential candidate, his official position was against the FTA.

It's particularly sickening to watch him now pretending to be in a hurry to pass it, blaming the Congress(GOP) when he's had 2 1/2 years to get it done. He says he wants it now, yeah, but then our Alinskyite President says alot of bullshit that people like you buy hook line and sinker while standing ever vigilant against all that "right-wing propaganda."

 
At 8/22/2011 5:34 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" The FTA hasn't passed because Democrats have successfully kept it bottled up"

Indeed.

So why is the holdup Obama's fault?

How many things have the Republicans bottled up in Congress on things they did not support - like Consumer Protection?

We can disagree on the merits of the policies and the politics clearly in this particular case - from the time of Bush - it's been more than one guy holding it up.

so when I read that "Obama has held it up for 1733 days.. and clearly - there are many others opposed, my propaganda/disinformation/blather alert goes off.

the two parties have profound but legitimate difference of opinion on all matters fiscal and trade and both sides are guilty of "holidng up" thing they do not agree with.

That's Politics.

so .. this post as well as many others here on CP are basically pure politics pretending to be about something else.

 
At 8/22/2011 8:06 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"So why is the holdup Obama's fault?"

Because the treaty can't get anywhere until he submits it to the Congress. It would immediately then pass in the House and most likely the Senate. In the meantime, he's cynically
pounding the table demanding action on it.

"Obama has held it up for 1733 days.. and clearly - there are many others opposed, my propaganda/disinformation/blather alert goes off."

The only disinformation//blather in this post is coming from you. Nowhere does it say Obama has held up the treaty for the entire time. Obama and the Democrats have, but not Obama himself.

"the two parties have profound but legitimate difference of opinion on all matters fiscal and trade and both sides are guilty of "holidng up" thing they do not agree with."

Fair enough, but I only see one President Douchebag actually blaming the Congress(GOP) for inaction on an issue they can do NOTHING ABOUT until he submits the documents. Where's Larry's famous non-partisanjustwantsthefacts bullshit detector in this instance?
Is it on the fritz?

 
At 8/22/2011 9:47 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

well I don't think calling the Prez douche bag speaks well of your true intentions son.

how many things have been held up on the other side of the aisle?

are all of them douche-bags also?

 
At 8/22/2011 9:53 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I guess you've conceded the issue.

"well I don't think calling the Prez douche bag speaks well of your true intentions son."

My true intentions are to get this idiot out of office so America can be strong again. I don't play pretend like you do. I'm partisan and admit it. You're a liberal pretending to be an objective "just the facts" guy when it suits your purposes. You've made that abundantly clear in this thread.

 
At 8/22/2011 2:22 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Paul -do you think Obama is better or worse than Bush?

What candidate(s) on the horizon do you think would do better than Obama and in what principal areas?

If you could choose between Ron Paul, Perry and Romney which one would do the best of FTAs?

 
At 8/22/2011 2:40 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Paul -do you think Obama is better or worse than Bush?"

No contest. Bush was nothing special, but Obama has us hanging by our fingernails. He walked into a kitchen with the drapes on fire, poured gasoline everywhere, blamed it all on the last guy in the kitchen, then went on vacation to Martha's Vineyard.

"What candidate(s) on the horizon do you think would do better than Obama and in what principal areas?"

Any of the GOP challengers would do better than Obama, except maybe Ron Paul.

"If you could choose between Ron Paul, Perry and Romney which one would do the best of FTAs?"

I'm pretty sure Romney would be for it. I speculate Perry would be for it. Am pretty sure Ron Paul is against it.

 

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