U.S. Trade Ambassador Susan Schwab Tells Neal Asbury Show Listeners That Millions of U.S. Jobs Are Being Lost Due to Languishing Trade Agreements

Appearing on the Neal Asbury Show on WZAB-AM today, United States Trade Representative Ambassador Susan C. Schwab warned listeners that the European Union is aggressively negotiating several free trade agreements that will give Europe a significant competitive advantage over U.S. exporters. The end result of these negotiations and the inability of the Congress to vote on pending trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, will be the loss of millions of American jobs.

Described by Asbury as the person who is “tirelessly fighting for market access for American exporters,” Ambassador Schwab recently returned from the Mid-East where she was working to open markets for U.S products and services. She was also addressing other key issues, including intellectual property, government procurement, telecommunications, the environment and labor rights. Ambassador Schwab reminded listeners that in the 14 countries where U.S. exporters enjoy free trade agreements, their revenues are up 40% over countries where the U.S. does not have free trade agreements.

In short, when the U.S. can play on a level playing field, it directly benefits small and medium-sized exporters that make up 97 percent of all U.S. exporters. Part of the discussion centered on the South Korean free trade agreement, where U.S. citrus exporters have paid $250 million in tariffs that could have been eliminated had Congress voted on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS-FTA). In Colombia, U.S. exporters have paid $1.3 billion in tariffs that could have been eliminated if the U.S. – Colombian Free Trade Agreement had been voted on by Congress.  Ambassador Schwab noted that since more than 90 percent of Colombian products coming into the U.S. are duty free, U.S. exporters should enjoy a reciprocal agreement with Colombia. Ironically, Colombia supports the agreement and is willing to eliminate most tariffs.

Although NAFTA has been under attack since the day it was passed, Ambassador Schwab said that it is short-sighted not to recognize the benefits of NAFTA.  Today, Mexico imports more U.S. products than China and Japan combined.  Canada by a long shot is America’s biggest trade partner.

Ambassador Schwab asked listeners to get more involved in the process and demand that Congress agree to an “up or down” vote on the Colombia, Panama and South Korea trade agreements so that U.S. exporters can save billions of dollars in tariffs and can create millions of U.S. jobs.

The Neal Asbury Show tackles key trade issues every Thursday from 11:00 AM until Noon WZAB-AM 880.  The show is streamed live on line at WWW.880THEBIZ.COM, which is affiliated with Bloomberg Radio and CNBC.

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