March 01,2011

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch On Administration’s 2011 Trade Policy Agenda

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s Trade Policy Agenda for 2011:

 “The Obama Administration’s trade agenda fails to put forth a clear and reasonable timetable for the advancement of our job-creating trade pacts with Colombia and Panama.  For an Administration committed to doubling exports, it has yet to chart a course for our nation to successfully access these new markets, expand our economy, and create new jobs.

“If American employers and workers are to compete in our global economy, then the White House must lead on trade. Regrettably, instead of concrete action, there’s only been rhetoric.  While President Obama studies, reviews, and ponders ‘outstanding issues’, other countries are aggressively negotiating and implementing deals to the detriment of American workers and job creators. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines any longer. The more we wait, the more our economy suffers. It’s time for leadership – it’s time for the Administration to act on the robust trade agenda that our nation deserves.  I expect some clear answers from Ambassador Kirk when he comes before the Finance Committee next week.”

A longtime advocate of breaking down trade barriers, Hatch has long supported initiatives to enhance America’s competitiveness and increase access to new international markets. Trade has played a vital role in strengthening the economy and creating jobs in Senator Hatch’s home state of Utah.  Last year alone, Utah shipped $13.57 billion in merchandise exports to international markets, supporting nearly 93,000 jobs in the state

This Congress, Senator Hatch has called for concrete action on pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. The Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over international trade policy, will hear testimony from U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and fully examine the Obama Administration’s trade agenda in a hearing next Wednesday, March 9th.