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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Trade Agreements

Jul 08, 2011

It’s almost every other word out of their mouths. The President and Members of Congress talk about jobs all the time. President Obama is bragging about crating 2 million new jobs. Never mind the fact that we have lost more than 2 million and the unemployment rate is up, not down.

Talk is cheap. It’s time to do something about the job issue.
 
We have three trade agreements that were negotiated by President Bush. They have been held hostage by the labor unions for almost 5 years. If President Obama would just submit the South Korean, Colombian, and Panamanian agreements to the Congress, and the Congress would vote to approve them, we could expect $13 billion in new export business. That would equate to thousands of new jobs.
 
We could expect $11 billion of new exports to South Korea alone. South Korean Tariffs on two thirds of our ag exports would be eliminated. Our South Korean beef exports would double. According to the National Pork Producers Council, passage of these trade agreements would create more than 10,000 new U.S. jobs related to the pork industry.
 
About a month ago, I thought we would be able to pass these agreements. But then, out of the blue, the President and the union-controlled Democrats in Congress said no deal unless -- $1 billion of trade adjustment assistance money is made available to displaced workers. Now we’re supposed to buy the unions off – it’s blackmail.
 
If anyone is wondering how we ever accumulated $14 trillion in debt, now you know. Everyone wants government money as if it’s free.
 
I don’t know if we’ll get these agreements passed. Tell your Member of Congress to “get it done.”
 
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.
 
Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.
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