Chairman Graves Statement on The Free Trade Agreements

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Washington, Oct 12, 2011 | DJ Jordan, Wendy Knox (202-225-5821) | comments

Graves: “Small businesses have been waiting on more exporting opportunities for far too long”

House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today issued the following statement on today's House vote on the three pending free trade agreements, H.R. 3078 - United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, H.R. 3079 - United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, and H.R. 3080 - United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act:

“The free trade agreements, and the economic impact that comes with them, have been stalled for far too long. America’s small businesses have missed out on a plethora of opportunities because of politics and the inactivity of Washington.

“The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the three trade agreements combined would increase U.S. exports by $13 billion — and for every $1 billion in U.S. exports, an estimated 6,000 jobs are created. In 2010 alone, American exports supported nearly 10 million jobs, including an estimated 4 million for small businesses. Additionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that jobs supported by exports pay as much as 18 percent higher than the national average.

“As Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I continually hear from small business owners who are counting on the three trade agreements to expand their businesses. Ninety-seven percent of identified U.S. exporters are small businesses — yet that only represents a small fraction of those who could compete globally if trade barriers and high tariffs were reduced. Thankfully, Congress will finally move forward this week on giving small businesses a surefire way to spur job creation, all without one dime of new government spending. Small businesses have been waiting on more exporting opportunities for far too long.”

The Committee has held several hearings on how the free trade agreements would help small businesses. On April 6, 2011, the Committee held a hearing entitled, "Help Wanted: How Passing Free Trade Agreements Will Help Small Businesses Create New Jobs" and on July 27, 2011, the Committee held a hearing entitled, "Bureaucratic Obstacles for Small Exporters: Is our National Export Strategy Working?"

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