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WASHINGTON, DC –Approval of pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea would mean more jobs for Americans at a time when they are desperately needed, but Congress cannot act on the agreements until President Obama submits them to Congress.  Studies completed by the International Trade Commission have revealed that the pending free trade agreements would provide access for a variety of Wyoming goods including agricultural, industrial and chemical products.

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. is among 11 senators who sent a letter this week asking President Obama to submit them.

“Speeches about the benefits of pending free trade agreements alone will not strengthen our alliances or create jobs at home. Until you act and submit the pending free trade agreements to Congress, these benefits will never materialize,” wrote Senators Enzi, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Pat Roberts, R-Kan., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Tom Coburn, R-Okla., John Thune, R-S.D. and Richard Burr, R-N.C. 

The full text of the letter is below.

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September 29, 2011
The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Last week, the U.S. Senate approved H.R. 2832, legislation to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and extend and expand Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).  Almost immediately thereafter, Speaker of the House John Boehner reiterated his commitment to consider TAA in tandem with legislation to implement the long-stalled free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.  While not all members supported H.R. 2832, these actions demonstrate that all that remains for the trade agreements to be successfully considered is for your Administration to submit them to Congress for a vote.  As you know, a vote in Congress will not occur until you take this action.

Your Administration has repeatedly spoken about the strategic importance of these agreements to our allies in Colombia, Panama and South Korea, as well as the ability of the agreements to create jobs here in the United States. Unfortunately, speeches about the benefits of pending free trade agreements alone will not strengthen our alliances or create jobs at home. Until you act and submit the pending free trade agreements to Congress, these benefits will never materialize.

At a time when unemployment is at 9.1%, there is no reason to delay action on these measures that members of both parties agree will create jobs.  Submitting the free trade agreements to Congress is a concrete step you can take to help the American economy recover. We urge you to take that step immediately.  Once you submit these agreements, we are confident that they will be quickly considered and approved by a bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress.

Sincerely,