Hoeven: TAA Passage Clears Way for Free Trade Agreements

Senator Calls on President to Forward Agreements to Congress

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven said that the U.S. Senate’s passage this evening of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation should clear the way for implementation of three, long-pending free trade agreements that will mean billions in economic activity for American farms and businesses, and hundreds of thousands of jobs for U.S. workers.

“Now that TAA has been approved, the President needs to send these three trade agreements to Congress for approval as soon as possible,” Hoeven said. “At a time when unemployment is still over 9 percent and the American economy is flagging, these three trade agreements combined are expected to generate more than $13 billion in increased economic activity for U.S. manufacturers, farmers and ranchers and create more than 250,000 American jobs.” 

In a letter to President Barack Obama in July, Hoeven and 11 other Republican senators urged the Administration to forward the agreements to the U.S. Congress for approval. In return, the senators agreed to support the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill.

When enacted, the Korean agreement alone will eliminate or reduce tariffs on U.S. autos, manufactured goods, and agricultural products to South Korea, and eliminate more than 85 percent of the tariffs between the United States and the Republic of Korea. It would also phase out a 40 percent Korean tariff on American beef over 10 years, making it more affordable to consumers and more cost effective for producers. In addition, it would open new markets for American services in South Korea. The total economic activity generated by the Korean agreement alone is projected to be $10 billion.