Grassley Hails Passage of the Chile and Singapore Trade Agreements
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, todaypraised Senate passage last night of legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore FreeTrade Agreements. The Senate passage, following House passage, was the final congressional stepneeded to implement the agreements, which will go into effect next year. Grassley made thefollowing comment on the agreements.
“The Chile and Singapore trade agreements are state-of-the-art. They’ll provide realeconomic and strategic benefits to America’s workers, farmers, consumers and industry. Incredibly,this is the first time in our history that the Senate approved two free trade agreements in a single day.That we were able to achieve this goal is a testament not only to the high quality of these agreements,but also to the power of Trade Promotion Authority.
“The U.S.-Chile FTA is America’s first with a South American country and strengthensmomentum on the FTA of the Americas. But years of delay in reaching this agreement have costthe U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars annually in lost business to the European Union and othermarkets. So, I’m very pleased that this agreement includes strong agriculture market accessprovisions for our farmers and ranchers. Chilean tariffs on 75 percent of U.S. agricultural productswill go to zero within four years. These products include soybeans, corn, pork, and beef, all of whichare important Iowa commodities.
“The U.S.-Singapore FTA is a win for America, too. Singapore is our largest trading partnerin Southeast Asia and a strong ally in the war against terrorism. This agreement opens up newmarkets and creates new opportunities for many sectors of our economy, including banking,insurance and telecommunications. The agreement continues our goal toward greater tradeliberalization and higher standards, not only in the Pacific, but throughout the world.
“Without TPA, the United States fell behind on trade. But now we’re back on track.Knocking down barriers to trade and allowing U.S. companies to compete on a level playing fieldaround the world is the goal of TPA. So, with the passage of these trade agreements, we send astrong message to the world that the United States is back in the game. I look forward to thePresident signing into law these historic agreements in the near future.”
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