House Ways and Means Committee Chairman said the Colombia-Canada free trade agreement, which takes effect today, put the U.S. at a disadvantage and highlights the need to pass the stalled trade pact between Colombia and the North and South American nations, Reuters reported Monday.
Committee Chairman and Michigan Republican David Camp said, “I urgently call on the president to send the job-creating trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to Congress without further delay.”
The U.S. and Canada are competing for sales in Colombia, South America’s fourth largest economy after Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina.
U.S. Senate leaders ended a deadlock over the delayed trade agreements two weeks ago by agreeing to vote after this month’s recess. The vote is for a job re-training program for workers who lose their jobs due to overseas competition.
President Barack Obama said he wants the trade agreements and worker re-training program passed “as soon as possible so that American businesses and workers can get the jobs, market access, and more level playing fields we fought for in these deals,” according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office.
Republican Representative Kevin Brady said the delay in passing the trade deals is costing jobs. “Already Colombia’s largest cookie and cracker company (Nutresa), which accounts for over half of Colombia’s wheat imports, has announced it will switch its U.S. wheat orders to Canadian wheat,” said Brady.