July 22,2011

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Welcomes Senate Republican Efforts to Move Trade Pacts; Calls on Administration to Submit to Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today welcomed Republican efforts to advance the pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea and called on the Obama Administration to immediately send up the trade pacts for congressional consideration.

Earlier this month, Hatch called for continued dialogue through a mock conference to try and break the impasse on the trade pacts, so that the President would finally submit the trade agreements to Congress.   Hatch issued the following statement:

“Republicans in Congress are committed to advancing our job-creating trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Given our nation’s slowed economic growth and climbing unemployment rate, these agreements are the shot in the arm we need right now – growing the economy by more than $14 billion and creating 250,000 American jobs.

“The path forward in Congress is clear – our trade pacts and TAA need to move separately through the Congress on their own merits.   The Obama Administration must now heed to the calls of Congress and submit these agreements before August so that we can lock in the path forward the President demanded.  Waiting until the fall increases the risk that the trade pacts will turn into another political football.”

Last month Hatch led the Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee in a letter to the President outlining their opposition to including expanded Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) in the U.S.- South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and calling for TAA to be considered separately on its own merits. To date, 23 Republican Senators are on record saying that the domestic spending program, TAA should move through Congress separately from the trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.