[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 152 (Wednesday, October 12, 2011)]
[Pages S6418-S6452]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]






  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent I be allowed to 
speak as in morning business for up to 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Bingaman pertaining to the introduction of S. 
1692 are located in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced 
Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cardin). The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I am happy to rise today to speak about 
the three trade agreements that are working their way over to the 
Senate. At a time when unemployment is over 9 percent and we have over 
14 million Americans out of work, it is past time for us to take up 
these three important agreements. These agreements with Korea, 
Colombia, and Panama are going to create jobs and put Americans back to 
work. That is why it is so important we move, and move on a bipartisan 
basis, to get them done.
  With 95 percent of consumers living outside of our borders, we need 
to proactively help American workers, farmers, and service providers 
sell their products all around the world. The President himself has 
said that repeatedly. Just last month he came to Ohio and said he wants 
to be sure more products are stamped with the three proud words ``Made 
in America.'' I couldn't agree more.
  One way to do that is to get these trade agreements done. Finally, we 
have the opportunity to vote on them. This will help us to gain market 
access for U.S. workers to about 100 million consumers.
  Unfortunately, while these agreements have been sitting on the shelf 
for over 4 years, our workers, our farmers, and our service providers 
have lost market share. They have fallen behind because other countries 
have completed agreements, and their workers and their farmers, their 
service providers have gained market share that

[[Page S6419]]

we should have had. According to the National Association of 
Manufacturers, by waiting for 4 years to take up these agreements, 
American workers have lost over $12 billion in wages.
  So I am glad the agreements are here. They should have been here 
sooner. Again, this, to me, should be a lesson that we learn as a 
Congress, a Senate. We need to have more agreements, and we need to 
have them negotiated constantly on behalf of our businesses and our 
  While we have waited for the President to submit these agreements to 
Congress for a vote, other countries have moved forward and have gained 
footholds in other markets. The European Union and Korea, along with 
Canada and Colombia, have negotiated, completed, and put into force 
their own trade agreements they started to negotiate after we were done 
with ours. In other words, we finished our negotiations, they then 
began negotiations, they ratified their agreements, and they are now in 
effect taking market share away from us.
  We have seen the U.S. market share be reduced in Colombia and in 
Korea because of these agreements. A good example would be our exports 
of agricultural products to Colombia. We have seen them drop from 70 
percent of the market for corn, wheat, and soybeans to less than 30 
percent of the market just since we completed the agreement with 
Colombia. Because, again, the President did not send these agreements 
forward for ratification, we have been on the sidelines while farmers 
in my State and around the country have lost out.
  We are falling behind in Korea too. When we started discussing an 
agreement with Korea, the United States was Korea's biggest trading 
partner. Since then we have slid down the ladder, with China, Japan, 
and the Europe Union jumping ahead of us. According to the U.S. Trade 
Representative's Office, in just over a decade, our share of Korea's 
goods imports has fallen from 21 percent of their market to 9 percent 
of their market, while China's share of the Korean market has increased 
from 7 percent to 17 percent. We are now at 9 percent; China is now at 
17 percent. This has happened, again, since we began negotiations or 
discussions about negotiations with Korea. By standing still we are 
still allowing China and our competitors to get a leg up in this 
crucial Asian market.
  According to the President's own metrics, these three agreements 
together will create over 250,000 new jobs. Conversely, according to 
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, if we fail to move forward on these 
agreements, we would lose 380,000 jobs--again, because we would lose 
market share that we already have to these other countries that are 
negotiating agreements while we sit on the sidelines.
  The nonpartisan U.S. International Trade Commission says these three 
agreements will increase U.S. trade exports by nearly $13 billion each 
  When I was the U.S. Trade Representative, I had the privilege of 
launching the Korea agreement, actually in a room right next to the 
Chamber. This agreement is called KORUS. I did so with Korean Trade 
Minister Kim in February of 2006. At that time, many people said this 
agreement would be very difficult to negotiate. Some criticized us for 
launching it thinking this economy was too big, to complicated, that we 
would not be able to get a meaningful agreement. We took the chance 
because we saw the incredible potential for trade liberalization, and 
it would drive greater economic growth in the United States and U.S. 
job creation--and also because of the importance of the alliance with 
the Republic of Korea.

  It turns out the skeptics were wrong, and we now have before us this 
week, in the Senate, to vote on the largest free-trade agreement, 
largest export agreement this Congress has looked at in almost two 
  Korea is a vital market for U.S. exports already. It is America's 
seventh largest trading partner, and their economy is now growing by 
more than 6 percent per year.
  KORUS eliminates tariffs on over 95 percent of U.S. exports of 
industrial and consumer goods to Korea within the first 5 years of the 
agreement. The agreement's intellectual property rights provisions 
contain stringent protections for American intellectual property--
extremely important to some of our service companies and other 
exporters. This gives American companies additional access to Korea's 
$850 billion services market.
  America has a large services trade surplus, actually, in services 
right now, both globally and with Korea, and this agreement will allow 
American service companies that are the best in the world to expand and 
sell more products to a country of more than 48 million people.
  KORUS is supported by the United Auto Workers, the U.S. Chamber of 
Commerce, and many other business and export-related groups. Let me 
read an excerpt, if I could, from the United Auto Workers' statement 
earlier this year about the Korean agreement. The UAW said the Korea 
agreement and related auto provisions ``will protect current American 
auto jobs . . . will grow American auto industry jobs . . . includes 
labor and environmental commitments, and . . . has important 
enforcement mechanisms.''
  The KORUS agreement opens an important market for American farmers 
and ranchers as well. According to the International Trade Commission, 
KORUS will expand American agricultural exports by $1.9 billion to $3.8 
billion per year. In my own State of Ohio, KORUS, along with Panama and 
Colombia, will increase Ohio's agricultural exports by nearly $55 
million annually--just to Ohio.
  KORUS will eventually phase out the 40-percent Korean tariff on U.S. 
beef and will immediately eliminate the 5-percent Korean tariff on 
soybeans, resulting in a $3 million annual increase in Ohio soybean 
exports. Soybeans are the biggest export crop in Ohio. In fact, 1 of 
every 2 acres of soybeans in Ohio is planted now for export.
  KORUS also opens the door for American manufacturing jobs. In Ohio 
over 25 percent of manufacturing jobs now depend on exports. Over $31 
billion of U.S. manufacturing goods were exported to Korea last year. 
In fact, Korea was our fastest growing export destination in the world, 
with a 37-percent increase over 2009. When American-manufactured goods 
are exported to Korea, they face an average tariff now of about 9 
percent. With passage of this agreement this 9-percent tariff will fall 
to zero and in most cases immediately. However, due to this agreement 
we talked about earlier between the European Union and Korea going into 
force about 100 days ago, on July 1, EU exports to Korea are now on the 
rise because 90 percent of their goods can now enter Korea duty free. 
Again, it is important we move forward, and move forward quickly, to 
avoid losing more American share which is difficult for us to regain.
  The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote an editorial recently entitled, 
``Korea Free Trade Deal Will Help U.S. and Ohio.''
  The piece talked about the benefits of the Korean agreement, 
particularly for manufacturers and autoworkers. The editorial concluded 
by saying:

       Trade can help drive recovery. This deal with a longtime 
     ally will help.

  They are right.
  Another important agreement is the U.S.-Colombia trade promotion 
agreement. Colombia is a growing economy in Central and South America, 
to which the United States exported over $121 million in goods last 
year. This agreement with Colombia is a clear victory for U.S. workers. 
Due to preference programs that are already in place, nearly 90 percent 
of the exports from Colombia to the United States have entered our 
market tariff free. So we largely have a one-way free-trade agreement 
with Colombia already. Due to these preference programs, this agreement 
will be a huge benefit to U.S. workers and U.S. businesses, because 
U.S. exports to Colombia have faced an average tariff of about 14 
percent. So, historically, 90 percent of their goods come in duty free 
while ours face much higher tariffs when they enter Colombia. This 
isn't fair trade, and this agreement will fix that. It will assure that 
the one-way trade that advantages Colombian exports instead of American 
exports is balanced.
  The agreement will lower the 14-percent average Colombian tariff to 
zero, allowing over 80 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial products 
exported to Colombia to become duty free immediately. The agreement 
also immediately eliminates duties on about 70 percent of U.S. farm 
exports, including

[[Page S6420]]

soybeans, wheat, barley, flour, and beef.
  The Colombia agreement also establishes new transparency rules on 
nontariff barriers to trade; in other words, not a higher tariff, but 
other barriers in the country, so-called nontariff barriers, that keep 
our products out.
  Further, it establishes new commitments on the environment and labor, 
an area on which Colombia is improving and proactively addressing.
  The agreement also protects U.S. intellectual property with enhanced 
protection for copyrighted entertainment products, software, and U.S. 
  Finally, we have an important agreement with Colombia's Latin 
American neighbor, Panama, another key ally to the United States. 
Panama is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. Last 
year, $46 million worth of Ohio goods were exported to Colombia. Panama 
is a vital strategic partner for the United States, since nearly two-
thirds of the Panama Canal's annual transits are either from or to U.S. 
  Moreover, the ongoing $5 billion Panama Canal expansion project 
presents unique opportunities for American exporters such as Rockwell 
Automation, which employs nearly 3,000 Ohioans. At Rockwell's Twinsburg 
facility in northeast Ohio, they produce controllers and automation 
systems that open and close the doors of the Panama Canal's locks and 
divert the water. They are bidding on more work in Panama. However, 
they say they are currently working with one hand tied behind their 
back because their competitors have an advantage in Panama, because we 
don't have a trade agreement. So this Panama export agreement will help 
companies such as Rockwell by cutting tariffs, protecting their 
intellectual property, and giving them more investment certainty.
  Upon entry into force, Panama will immediately eliminate its tariffs 
on over 87 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial goods and 
on more than half of U.S. agricultural exports. Eighty-five percent of 
U.S. exporters to Panama are small and medium-sized companies. That is 
over 7,000 American small and medium-sized companies that export to 
Panama and will thus benefit from this agreement.
  Let me speak about a couple of Ohio products that are exported to 
these markets. The Step2 Company, headquartered in Streetsboro, OH, is 
the largest American manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys. They 
employ over 800 Ohioans. They like to export to Korea and Panama, and 
they want to take advantage of these agreements. Lincoln Electric's 
3,000 employees in Euclid and Mentor export welding products and 
equipment to Korea, Colombia, and Panama from northeast Ohio. These 
agreements don't just help Lincoln Electric export more, they also will 
help Lincoln's customers export more.
  Another Ohio company is PRO TEC Coating, a U.S. Steel joint venture 
company located near Findlay. PRO TEC Coating employs about 250 Ohioans 
and creates steel that meets the most demanding specifications of U.S. 
automakers. The Korean agreement will open a big potential market for 
U.S. auto exports, which will help companies throughout the automotive 
supply chain to be able to get more business, and PRO TEC Coating is 
  Gorilla Glue, one of my favorite named companies in Cincinnati, OH, 
my hometown, has over 100 employees and they export their premium line 
of adhesives and tapes to Panama, Colombia, and Korea. They want this 
agreement because they will be able to expand their exports and create 
more jobs in Cincinnati.
  While these agreements bring large economic benefits, those 
responsible for our national security also recognize the geopolitical 
benefits of building economic ties with key regional allies. In 
testimony earlier this year before the Senate Armed Services Committee, 
GEN Douglas Fraser, who is Commander of U.S. Southern Command, 
described the Colombian agreement as ``a very positive, beneficial 
aspect for our cooperation because of a growing capacity to support the 
capabilities of the armed forces and law enforcement.''
  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 
strongly support these agreements, noting the importance of an effort 
that leverages all elements of national power to protect our interests 
overseas. Secretary Panetta confirmed the role these increased economic 
ties have on promoting regional security, with Colombia as a prime 
example of a key ally in a continent with ever changing political 
dynamics. When it comes to international economics and security, there 
is no question of the critical role Panama plays. With 20 percent of 
our trade to Asia passing through Panama, building on this historically 
strong relationship will signal our commitment to engaging with Central 
  When President Obama submitted these agreements to Congress last 
week, he said, ``The agreements I am submitting to Congress today will 
make it easier for American companies to sell their products in South 
Korea, Colombia, and Panama and provide a major boost to our exports. 
These agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across our 
country. . . .''
  While these agreements are late, the President is right. These are 
important job-creating and export-opening agreements. They have strong 
support from Members of both parties and, more importantly, they are 
supported by American workers and businesses.
  Again, the lesson we should learn here is that we need to give the 
President the authority he has yet to ask for to negotiate further 
agreements. Because in these last 4 years while these agreements have 
been pending, while the President has not sent them during his 
administration--and prior to that when President Bush was blocked by 
the House from moving them forward--we have not been negotiating 
additional agreements. I am told there are over 100 bilateral trade 
agreements being negotiated right now. The United States is not a party 
to any of them. That is not acceptable because we are losing out. Our 
workers, our service providers, and our farmers are losing out and we 
will not have the sustained recovery we all hope for unless we engage 
more in these international markets.
  I wish to commend so many in this body who have been patient, 
persistent, and even passionate in promoting these agreements over the 
years. When I was U.S. Trade Representative, I worked closely with then 
Chairman Grassley, with Chairman Baucus, with Senator Hatch, and others 
on the Finance Committee to promote these agreements. Those Senators 
are to be commended today. We will hear a lot from Senator Baucus and 
Senator Hatch, I am sure, about the importance of these agreements, but 
I want to underscore the key role they played even early on in ensuring 
that these agreements could be here before us today.
  I commend the staff of the Finance Committee, who have worked 
tirelessly over the years to ensure that we could be here with this 
opportunity today. Other Senators played a key role--Senator Blunt, 
Senator Kerry, and others whom I should be naming but I am not--to make 
sure we have this opportunity to move our country forward by enacting 
these agreements.

  Finally, I wish to thank the dedicated staff at the Office of the 
U.S. Trade Representative who make these agreements possible. Again, I 
had the privilege to lead this nimble and effective agency, comprised 
of remarkable public servants who relish the agency's mission, which is 
to knock down barriers to U.S. products so we get a fair shake. They 
balanced this challenge with aggressively enforcing our international 
trade laws, which is also part of the mix. We need to both expand 
exports in open markets and ensure that trade is fair, and that we are 
enforcing both the international standards and U.S. laws with regard to 
trade. They do it very well. Without our negotiators' commitments to 
resolving some of these very complex and sometimes controversial 
economic issues, we would also not be here today. So I commend them. 
For all of those professionals with whom I have had the honor to serve 
and for those who are there now serving under Ambassador Ron Kirk, who 
has also been a strong promoter of these agreements, I thank you for 
your efforts.
  Finally, I urge my colleagues who are on the fence--and some of them 
have talked to me--to take a strong look at the economic and 
geopolitical benefits of these agreements. We don't do much around here 
that is bipartisan these

[[Page S6421]]

days. Yet we have a country that is crying out for it. This is an 
example of where we can come together as Republicans and Democrats, 
realizing that for 14 million Americans out of work, we need to move 
our economy forward. This is a clear example of where we can indeed 
take steps that are bipartisan, where we have a consensus to be able to 
create jobs and opportunity in the United States of America.
  Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I rise this afternoon to speak for a couple 
of moments about the three pending trade agreements that the Senate is 
considering, those with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia. I wish to 
start by highlighting what I believe the American people are most 
concerned about right now--certainly the people I represent in the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Wherever I go, other than sending us a 
message that they want us to work together to solve problems they 
confront in their lives, the No. 1 issue, the No. 1 priority in terms 
of the work we can and should be doing, and thankfully are starting to 
move forward on, is a series of steps to improve the job market and to 
reduce the unemployment rate.
  As we have so often said, we have more than 14 million Americans out 
of work. In Pennsylvania, we were on the way last year of lowering the 
rate of that number substantially. We went from approaching 600,000 
people out of work to going below 500,000. Now, unfortunately, the 
number has shot back up to above 500,000 people out of work. So the No. 
1 issue, bar none, is jobs, and that is why this debate about trade and 
these agreements is so important.
  Jobs are the key consideration for Americans. They should be the key 
consideration for us, and they are, in short, the biggest challenge we 
have. So we need to ask a series of questions, and I have at least 
three major questions about these trade agreements, but all center on 
that issue of jobs.
  We have had a series of debates in the last couple of weeks which I 
think have been pretty instructive on both jobs and on efforts to 
achieve bipartisanship. We had a significant period of time we spent on 
trade adjustment assistance legislation. I was one of the leaders of 
that, and, thankfully, we were able to pass trade adjustment assistance 
to help workers who are displaced by unfair trade and, in many cases, 
have tremendous challenges getting from here to there--getting from a 
position of joblessness because of unfair trade to training and 
education and preparation for a new job or a new career.
  We also just completed a debate about China's currency policy. We 
know our recent history proves that when China cheats on its currency, 
which it has over a long period of time, we lose American jobs. So the 
Senate spoke in a loud voice, in a bipartisan way, to indicate that we 
are overdue. It is long past time to get tough with China. If they are 
going to cheat, there will be consequences when they cheat on their 
currency. So we have had some interesting debates, and we have focused 
on jobs and we have focused on working together.
  Finally, let me make a point before I get to the three basic 
questions I have. The Joint Economic Committee, which I chair, released 
a report today, and the report is entitled ``Nowhere to Go: Geographic 
and Occupational Immobility and Free Trade.'' It is dated today, 
October 12. I commend to my colleagues this report by the Joint 
Economic Committee. I won't go through the whole report, but here is 
the conclusion of the report itself:

       Given the already high national unemployment rate and 
     depressed home values still evident in most states, policies 
     that seek to liberalize trade may impose even larger costs 

older workers and workers who don't have a college education, 

     bolstering the need for additional investments in training or 
     other forms of trade-adjustment assistance.

  So when people lose their jobs as a result of unfair trade and 
because of the ravages of what happens in the international 
marketplace, what happens to an individual, to a company, and to a 
community, if they are older workers and if they don't have an 
education level that is commensurate with allowing them to adjust and 
to be able to respond to those dramatic changes, they will be much 
worse off. I think that is why these trade agreements are so important 
to debate.
  We have limited time for debate and we have limited time for full 
consideration, but I think we are going to have a number of hours to 
put some questions on the table. The first question I have is will 
these trade agreements protect and create jobs in Pennsylvania, the 
State I represent, and across the country?
  We know manufacturing is the core or probably the most important part 
of our job creation analysis. If we are making things, producing goods, 
engaged in advanced manufacturing, in new manufacturing--that we are 
seeing all over the country--if we are doing that at high levels and 
with big job numbers, we are moving in the right direction. But, 
unfortunately, economic policies and trade policies have inhibited and 
badly damaged our ability to create manufacturing jobs.
  I know in Pennsylvania manufacturing is especially critical to what 
is still the largest source of jobs in the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania--that sector of our economy. The benefits to manufacturing 
jobs, of course, extend beyond individual companies, individual 
businesses. The economic benefits of a strong manufacturing sector are 
experienced throughout the economy. They have a ripple effect, 
multipliers beyond just that company.
  In Pennsylvania, according to research commissioned by the 
Pennsylvania Industrial Resources Centers, for every $1 increase in 
demand for products manufactured in this country, that leads to a gain 
in gross value to the economy overall of $2.52. So $1 in by way of 
manufacturing and $2.52 in return.
  Furthermore, manufacturing jobs create and support middle-income 
families. We know the wage level is higher and, therefore, those 
families can benefit tremendously. In 2008, the average annual 
compensation of a worker in the manufacturing sector was over $65,000. 
The average pay for the rest of the workforce was $10,000 less. Each 
good-paying job in the country allows for more money to flow back into 
the economy. We know that.
  Given the importance of protecting these critical manufacturing jobs, 
we must ask ourselves: Will the trade agreements with South Korea, 
Colombia, and Panama create jobs, especially in the manufacturing 
sector? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. All we need 
to do is look at the history. This is not theory. All we need to do is 
look at recent history.
  Trade-related job expansion has been, unfortunately, an unfulfilled 
promise to the people of Pennsylvania and across the country. In 1993, 
the United States entered into the so-called NAFTA agreement, North 
American Free Trade Agreement, which promised to deliver hundreds of 
thousands of jobs across the United States. Those gains were not 
realized, especially in a State such as Pennsylvania. From 1993 to 
2002, 525,094 workers were certified as displaced under NAFTA, 
according to the Department of Labor.
  Overly optimistic job creation estimates were not the only flawed 
projection. At that time, leaders suggested that NAFTA would expand 
demand for American exports. That never came to be. In 1993, the United 
States had a small trade surplus with Mexico. Let me say that word 
again: We had a ``surplus'' in our trade with Mexico. By 2010, just 17 
years later, according to Census Bureau statistics, we had amassed a 
trade deficit of $66.4 billion with Mexico. Our trade relationship with 
Canada tells the same story--a widening trade deficit from $10 billion 
in 1993 to $28.5 billion in 2010.
  So we know and everyone knows this, that a trade deficit does lead to 
job losses. In Pennsylvania, we have seen a dramatic decline in 
manufacturing employment since NAFTA was implemented, losing a total of 
308,100 manufacturing jobs. That is one State in that time period; so 
more than 300,000 jobs lost just in Pennsylvania.
  With this experience, we need to take a close look at the 
government's projections for the pending agreements that are before us 
right now. While the International Trade Commission predicts our 
bilateral trade with Korea will improve--that is the assertion--the 
total U.S. trade deficit is predicted

[[Page S6422]]

to get larger which, if past experience is any gauge, will mean job 
losses, not job gains.
  According to the International Trade Commission, the agreement with 
Colombia means--and I am quoting--

       There is likely to be minimal to no effect on output or 
     employment for most sectors in the U.S. economy.

  That is according to the International Trade Commission.
  About the Panama agreement, the same commission concluded that the 
impact of the Free Trade Agreement ``would likely be small because of 
the small size of the Panamanian market relative to total U.S. trade 
and production.''
  Simply put, even the always optimistic International Trade Commission 
does not see these agreements as job-creating measures. That is 
question No. 1, a direct question on jobs.
  Question No. 2: Will this agreement create a level playing field? I 
would assert the answer is no to that question.
  Panama, while a very small economy, has one advantage to lure foreign 
investment. It remains a tax haven for companies that incorporate 
within its borders. As recently as 2009, Panama was listed on all major 
tax haven lists maintained by the Organization for Economic Cooperation 
and Development, the so-called OECD; Global Forum on Taxation; the 
National Bureau for Economic Research; and the Internal Revenue 
Service. While the tax information exchange agreement signed since then 
may address these issues, this same organization, the Organization for 
Economic Cooperation and Development, has yet to evaluate whether 
Panamanian law will allow for effective enforcement pursuant to these 
agreements. Given the lack of definitive progress, I am concerned that 
the Panama trade deal remains silent on this very basic issue.
  Let me move to the question of what happens as it relates to Colombia 
on this basic question about a level playing field.
  Additionally, as it relates to Colombia, despite efforts to move that 
country toward a regime that tolerates workers' rights, Colombia 
remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for union workers 
to be working. While it has been greeted with great fanfare, nothing in 
the so-called labor action plan negotiated between the United States 
and the Colombian Government--nothing--has required Colombia to 
establish a measurable system for enforcement of these labor rights 
prior to ratification or implementation of the agreement. In fact, 
Colombian companies can skirt many of the provisions in the so-called 
action plan--for example, by forcing new hires to sign a pledge 
offering higher salaries based upon a number of conditions, including 
not joining a union.
  Given the weakness of this plan, it is not surprising that violence 
against union workers remains commonplace in Colombia. Twenty-two union 
members and organizers have been killed in Colombia this year. Six 
Catholic priests known for working for the rights of the poor have also 
been targeted for assassination this year, leading the Catholic Bishops 
Conference of Colombia to call for protection of its clergy. Imagine 
that: union workers and priests needing protection in a country such as 

  Additionally, a June 8 study by the International Trade Union 
Confederation condemned the ongoing problems for labor organizers in 
  One simple comparison speaks volumes. In total, 49 union members were 
murdered in Colombia in the year 2010--49 people. All other countries 
combined had 41 killings of this kind. I do not think that needs any 
more emphasis.
  I am going to move now to a couple of comments as they relate to this 
level playing field question as it relates to South Korea.
  We had a long debate and a good debate and a good consensus on a 
bipartisan basis as it relates to China's currency policy. I believe we 
took a positive step forward in passing through the Senate a bipartisan 
bill to get tough with China when they cheat on their currency.
  All the while, we did not say much about another country that has had 
currency problems, and that is South Korea. We know they have their own 
record on currency, and I am troubled by South Korea's currency 
manipulation over time. They devalued their currency at least in very 
specific time periods that we are aware of at least twice--once in 1998 
and once in 1988. In fact, the most recent Treasury ``Report to 
Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies''--a long 
name for a currency report--this report is dated May 27, 2011. It noted 
that South Korea intervened ``heavily'' in its currency market during 
the financial crisis and has continued uninterrupted since. So it has a 
history, but we also have current information, current evidence, recent 
evidence that South Korea has been intervening heavily in its currency 
market. Treasury urged--urged--South Korea to ``adopt a greater degree 
of exchange rate flexibility and less intervention.'' I think we could 
get a little tougher than that, be a little more direct and maybe have 
some consequences, but that is the extent that Treasury is willing to 
  So as we debate a trade agreement with a major country such as South 
Korea, we ought to know something about their currency policies, 
especially in the aftermath of bipartisan currency legislation as it 
relates to China.
  I am pleased the Senate has passed this currency legislation this 
past week, and we are all hoping the House of Representatives will move 
quickly to consideration and passage of the currency legislation. But 
we should not be entering into a trade agreement with South Korea at a 
time when we know their currency policies are at best suspect and I 
think worse than that.
  Finally, let me lead to the last question of the three. The third 
question I have is: Does the agreement provide new opportunities for 
manufacturers in Pennsylvania as well as other States to export their 
  The benefits of the agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama 
have been, in my judgment, overstated, while the risks have been 
largely ignored. Rather than opening a new market for Pennsylvania 
farmers or Pennsylvania manufacturers, I fear the benefits to the 
United States are likely to be minimal at best.
  There are specific reasons the South Korea deal fails to deliver for 
Pennsylvania exporters as well. First, the most recent benefits are 
based upon an overly optimistic projection for agriculture. These 
projections, compiled by supporters of the agreement, assume that a cut 
in tariffs will immediately equal a growth in market share. We know 
from past experience that Asian markets, including South Korea, have 
come up with a host of unjustified nontariff restrictions to keep U.S. 
goods, particularly beef, out of their country. These barriers to free 
trade are likely to limit export potential and are largely unaddressed 
in the agreement.
  There are other troubling clauses, as well, dealing with, in this 
case, the beef industry. The South Korea agreement will allow American 
beef packagers to use Canadian or Mexican cattle and then export the 
packaged Mexican and/or Canadian beef as ``American'' beef. This 
policy, while great for beef packagers, undercuts U.S. ranchers.
  Another problem with the Korea deal is which goods will qualify for 
the ``Made in South Korea'' designation or sticker. Which will qualify 
for that? And therefore, if they have that, they are allowed to enter 
the U.S. duty free. Under the rules of origin in annex 6-A of the 
agreement, 65 percent of the value of many goods, including 
automobiles, shipped duty free to the United States can come from 
outside--just imagine this--outside of South Korea and still be 
considered ``Made in South Korea.'' That defies description. It is 
internally inconsistent at best, and it is contradictory for sure. This 
standard is lower than the European Union agreement, where only 55 
percent of content can be foreign and once again places our companies 
at a comparative disadvantage to international competition. 
Furthermore, this policy opens the door for products primarily made 
from Chinese parts to enter the United States duty free. That makes no 
sense at all.
  Earlier I posed these questions. The first I posed was: Will these 
agreements create a substantial number of new jobs? They will not. If 
previous agreements are any indication at all, the South Korea, 
Colombia, and Panama agreements will not create jobs in the

[[Page S6423]]

way they are projected to and will, in fact, lead to job losses, 
especially in manufacturing.
  The second question: Will the agreements help create a level playing 
field? They will not. The agreements fail to address critical issues 
such as violence against union members, as well as currency 
manipulation by, for example, South Korea.
  The third question: Does the agreement provide new opportunities for 
American manufacturers to export? Proponents have overstated the 
benefits. Certain industries and firms are likely to benefit for sure, 
while others will not.
  While it is clear that in its failure to address nontariff barriers 
to trade, the agreement leaves American firms unprotected on an unlevel 
playing field.
  Finally, based upon this set of questions and, more importantly, the 
answer to those questions, I will vote against the agreements with 
South Korea, Panama, and Colombia.
  It is my job as a Senator from Pennsylvania to fight for Pennsylvania 
jobs, and for too long the needs and the concerns of the jobs of 
Pennsylvania's workers have been last on the list when it comes to 
trade agreements. The fact is that past trade agreements have failed 
Pennsylvania and our workers, and I refuse to support new foreign trade 
agreements without reasonable debate and adequate answers for the 
questions that I pose and especially as it relates to jobs and the 
impact on workers.
  Instead of moving ahead quickly with what is a broken model, we need 
to focus on the biggest picture: formulating a strategy that helps 
American manufacturers, that leads to job creation, and that creates a 
stronger middle class. We need a trade policy in the United States of 
America. We do not have one right now. We need one that is bipartisan 
in nature.
  To make real, sustained progress, Washington needs to have a 
strategy. We must develop and commit ourselves to a national 
manufacturing strategy as part of a trade policy that includes job-
creating trade agreements, not job-killing trade agreements. 
Manufacturing is the heart and soul of our Commonwealth and our 
country. Our future's success depends upon developing policies that 
allow our people to create jobs and compete in the global production of 
goods. I know our workers are up to it. If we give them the tools and 
the agreements and the policies to do just that, they will outcompete 
anybody in the world, any country in the world.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Merkley). The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Let me begin by concurring with much of what the Senator 
from Pennsylvania has said. I think he is right-on. Like him, I rise 
today in strong opposition to the unfettered free-trade agreements with 
Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Let's be clear. One of the major reasons 
why the middle class in America is disappearing and why poverty is 
increasing and why the gap between the very wealthy and everybody else 
is growing wider is directly related to our disastrous, unfettered 
free-trade policy. If the United States is to remain a major industrial 
power, producing real products and creating good-paying jobs, we cannot 
continue the failed, unfettered free-trade policies that have been in 
existence for the last 30 years.
  We need to develop trade policies--I know this is a radical idea--
that work for working people and not just the CEOs of large 
corporations. What we must do is rebuild our manufacturing sector and 
once again create millions of good-paying jobs where workers are 
producing real products made in the United States of America.
  Over the last decade, more than 50,000 manufacturing plants in this 
country have shut down. Let me repeat that. In the last decade, more 
than 50,000 factories in this country have shut down. Over 5.5 million 
factory jobs have disappeared.
  Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were 
manufacturing jobs, often paying workers a living wage, decent 
benefits, pensions. Today, that figure is down to just 9 percent.
  In July of 2000, there were 17.3 million manufacturing workers in 
this country. Today, there are only 11.7 million.
  According to a recent study conducted by a well-respected economist 
at the Economic Policy Institute, permanent normal trade relations with 
China has led to the loss of 2.8 million jobs. In fact, the United 
States has lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month 
since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
  I was in the House of Representatives when PNTR with China was 
passed. I can remember all of the fine speeches from the President on 
down, Republicans, Democrats: Permanent normal trade relations with 
China is going to open up that great market, going to create millions 
of jobs in America. It was not true. Free trade with China ended up 
costing us 2.8 million jobs. You don't have to be an economist to 
understand that; all you have to do is walk into any department store 
in America and buy a product. Do you know where that product is made? 
It is not made in the United States of America, it is made in China.
  We all now understand what that trade agreement was about. It was not 
to open markets in China for American products, it was to open China so 
corporations in this country could shut down here, throw American 
workers out on the street, and move there in order to pay workers 
pennies an hour. That is what those trade agreements are about. There 
is no doubt in my mind that--certainly to a much lesser degree because 
they are smaller trade agreements--trade agreements with Korea, Panama, 
and Colombia will continue that same process.
  The U.S. Department of Commerce has reported that over the last 
decade, U.S. multinational corporations slashed 2.9 million jobs. Now 
the biggest advocate of unfettered free trade, of NAFTA with Mexico, of 
PNTR with China, of these trade agreements, is corporate America. It is 
the chamber of commerce, it is the National Association of 
Manufacturing. They spend huge sums of money on lobbying and campaign 
contributions in order to make Congress vote for these great trade 
  Let me repeat. Over the last decade, these very same corporations 
that want us to pass these disastrous trade agreements slashed 2.9 
million American jobs. Furthermore, what we have learned is that during 
that same period of time--and here is the kicker--these same 
corporations have created 2.4 million jobs. The only problem is that 
those jobs were created in China, Mexico, and other low-wage countries.
  What we have here is that key advocates for continuing this 
disastrous trade policy are precisely the people who have been slashing 
jobs in America, closing down factories, and hiring people abroad. And 
I would suggest that Members of the Senate might want to think twice 
about listening to the advice of people who have been laying off 
millions of American workers.
  Oddly enough, again we have one of the leading advocates for these 
disastrous trade agreements--it is the chamber of commerce. Well, some 
years ago, the chamber of commerce, to its credit, was pretty up front. 
They said outsourcing is a good idea. They recommended to American 
corporations: Shut down in America and move abroad. It is good for your 
  Do you really want to take the advice of people who believe that 
outsourcing and throwing American workers out on the street is a good 
idea? I do not think so.
  Today we are hearing all of this talk about how these trade 
agreements are going to create new jobs. We heard it before. It is the 
same old movie. The American people understand it is a bad movie. It is 
an unfactual movie.
  During the Clinton administration, we were told by Republicans and 
Democrats and then-President Clinton that NAFTA would create 100,000 
American jobs over a 2-year period. That is what we were told about 
NAFTA. Well, results are in on NAFTA. Instead of creating 100,000 
American jobs, the Economic Policy Institute has found that NAFTA 
destroyed more than 682,000 American jobs, including the loss of 
150,000 computer and electronic jobs.
  I do not understand why, when you have a policy that has failed and 
failed, you want to continue that policy. Football teams that have 
coaches with losing records get rid of those coaches. When you have a 
trade policy that has

[[Page S6424]]

resulted in millions of American workers losing their jobs, you do not 
continue that same philosophy.
  The issue here is not just Mexico and NAFTA, it is not just PNTR with 
China, it is obviously what is going to happen with the trade 
agreements that are before us today, Korea, Panama, and Colombia.
  The Economic Policy Institute has estimated that the Korea Free Trade 
Agreement will lead to the loss of 159,000 American jobs and will 
increase the trade deficit by nearly $14 billion over a 7-year period. 
Why would you want to go forward with those ideas? Why would you want 
to go forward with a trade agreement that will increase our trade 
  President Obama has estimated that the Korea Free Trade Agreement 
will support at least 70,000 American jobs. But the headline of a 
December 7, 2010, article in the New York Times says it all: ``Few New 
Jobs Expected Soon From Free-Trade Agreement With South Korea.'' 
According to this article, the Korea Free Trade Agreement ``is likely 
to result in little if any net job creation in the short run, according 
to the government's own analysis.''

  Let me touch on one particular aspect of the Korea Free Trade 
Agreement that I find especially troubling and that I think the 
American people, to the degree they understand this and learn about it, 
will also find troubling; that is, this particular free-trade agreement 
will force American workers to compete not just against the low-wage 
workers in China or Vietnam or Mexico, they are going to be forced to 
compete against the virtual slave labor that exists in North Korea, the 
most undemocratic country in the world and a country itself whose 
government will financially benefit from this, with the dictatorship of 
Kim Jong Il.
  We all know that under current law the United States has an embargo 
on all North Korean goods--for a very good reason. Workers in North 
Korea are the most brutalized in the world, have virtually no 
democratic rights, and are at the mercy of the most vicious dictator in 
the world. But after the South Korea Free Trade Agreement is signed 
into law, the United States would have a new obligation to allow South 
Korean products to come into our country tariff-free that contain major 
parts made by North Korean workers who make pennies an hour.
  According to a January 2011 report from the Congressional Research 
Service, ``There is nothing to prevent South Korean firms from 
performing intermediate manufacturing operations in North Korea and 
then performing final manufacturing processes in South Korea.'' In 
other words, there is a huge industrial park in North Korea. South 
Korean companies own that park. Workers there are paid horrendously low 
wages, and some of those wages go right to the North Korean Government. 
Products made in that industrial park in North Korea will go to South 
Korea and then will come back into the United States as part of that 
so-called free-trade agreement.
  Today, over 47,000 North Korean workers currently are employed by 
more than 120 South Korean firms, including Hyundai, at the Kaesong 
Industrial Complex in North Korea.
  This facility is located just 6 miles north of the demilitarized 
zone, with direct road and rail access to South Korea and just an 
hour's drive away from Seoul.
  These North Korean workers officially make a minimum wage of 35 cents 
an hour, but they actually make less than that.
  Instead of paying these workers directly, Hyundai and the other South 
Korean firms pay the North Korean Government. How is that? South Korean 
companies--major companies--pay the North Korean Government. They take 
a piece of the action, which is going to the most undemocratic, vicious 
dictatorship in the world. The products then go to South Korea, and 
they are part of the free-trade agreement with South Korea.
  In 2007, Han Duck-soo, who was then the Prime Minister of South Korea 
and is the current South Korean Ambassador to the United States, said 

       The planned ratification of the South Korea-U.S. free trade 
     agreement will pave the way for the export of products built 
     in Kaesong [North Korea] to the U.S. market.

  So what we have now is American workers being forced to compete 
against desperate people all over the world, who are making a tiny 
fraction of the wages that are paid in America, and forced to compete 
against countries where there are no environmental standards, where 
worker unions are not recognized or respected.
  But now it gets even worse. American workers are now being forced to 
compete against the virtual slave labor in North Korea as part of this 
trade agreement.
  What about the Colombia Free Trade Agreement? It is understandable 
why the CEOs of multinational corporations would like this free-trade 
agreement. After all, Colombia is one of the most anti-union countries 
on the planet.
  Since 1986, over 2,800 trade unionists have been assassinated in 
Colombia--more than the rest of the world combined. Think about it for 
a moment. If we found out that 50 CEOs had been assassinated in 
Colombia last year instead of trade leaders, do you think we would be 
on the verge of approving a free-trade agreement with that country? 
Frankly, I don't think so.
  Lastly, let me say a brief word about Panama and the Panama free-
trade agreement. Panama's entire economic output is only $26.7 billion 
a year or about two-tenths of 1 percent of the U.S. economy. Nobody can 
legitimately claim that approving this free-trade agreement will 
significantly increase American jobs.
  Then why would we be considering a stand-alone free trade agreement 
with Panama? It turns out that Panama is a world leader when it comes 
to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. 
taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens. The Panama Free 
Trade Agreement will make this bad situation much worse.
  Each and every year, the wealthiest people in our country and the 
largest corporations evade about $100 billion in U.S. taxes through 
abusive and illegal offshore tax havens in Panama and other countries.
  According to Citizens for Tax Justice:

       A tax haven . . . has one of three characteristics: it has 
     no income tax or a very low rate income tax; it has bank 
     secrecy laws; and it has a history of non-cooperation with 
     other countries on exchanging information about tax matters. 
     Panama has all three of those. . . . They're probably the 

  Let me conclude--and I will be back on the floor later to amplify on 
these remarks. I will conclude by saying this: If you go out to any 
community in America and you ask the people in those communities--
especially working people--do you think our current free-trade 
agreements, such as NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with 
China, have worked, and have they been creating jobs in your community 
or have you seen factories shut down, I suspect that in almost every 
instance people will say these free-trade agreements are not working 
for American workers. They are costing us jobs.
  That is what the American people understand to be true because it is 
true. So it seems to me that when you have a history of failed trade 
policies--policies that have enabled and encouraged large corporations 
to shut down in this country and move abroad, it is insane to continue 
that policy if you are serious about creating jobs in America, 
rebuilding our manufacturing sector, and trying to address the crises 
facing the middle class today.
  We need new trade policies. Trade unto itself is a good idea. 
Everybody believes in trade. But you need trade policies that are 
designed to help ordinary working people and not just wealthy CEOs.
  I feel very strongly that the policies we are debating today--trade 
policies with Korea, Panama, and Colombia--are nothing more than 
extensions of disastrous trade policies of the past. They should be 
defeated. We should come together and develop new approaches to trade, 
which will benefit all our people and not just CEOs or multinational 
  With that, I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S6425]]

  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, Senator Sanders has raised some 
questions about our trade policy. I do believe we need to examine our 
trade policies more carefully. As I have said in the last few days, we 
need to defend our legitimate interests as a nation, and I have 
supported legislation that would curtail China's ability to manipulate 
its currency to gain a trade advantage over us.
  Trade agreements are not a religious thing with me. I think some of 
the free traders are accused of believing it is a religious thing--that 
whatever you do to further trade, even if we are at a disadvantage, 
somehow it is still better for us to sign these agreements; that we 
should just do this and not worry about it--cancer will be cured, peace 
will occur in the world, we will all be better friends, and things will 
happen good.
  Things do tend to happen good when you have a trading relationship 
with a nation. I will support all three of these trade agreements. But 
I believe it is healthy to have Senators examine and make sure that 
these are the kinds of agreements that advance our national interest. 
Is this the kind of trading partner we feel comfortable signing an 
agreement with? Will they honor it? Do we have prospects for improved 
trade over the years that could help both our countries?
  Any business that does business with another business presumes it 
will be beneficial to them, and the other company that agreed to do 
business with this other company assumes it will be good for them. 
Certainly, any kind of contract, any kind of agreement that is a 
legitimate agreement of value benefits both parties. That is very 
achievable. It can be achievable in the trade world.

  I believe that with regard to Colombia, South Korea, and Panama, we 
have reason to believe they will be good trading partners. Colombia is 
the longest democracy in South America. They had to go for over a 
decade dealing with narcotrafficking, a Communist guerrilla force, and 
we were able to help them defeat their enemy. They are now prospering. 
They have elections. The Congress is doing a good job. They are 
honoring their agreements. The people of Colombia are positive about 
the people in the United States. I have been there and I appreciate 
  As a native of Alabama and on the gulf coast, it is a direct shot 
south to Colombia. We have every reason to believe we can have a 
positive trading relationship with Colombia.
  Panama is much smaller, but they have done well. A lot of people 
doubted their ability to function successfully as a government. I think 
Panama has been doing very well, and they believe in trade and want to 
be good trading partners. All of these will have to be watched. South 
Korea is one of our best allies in the world. We have huge amounts of 
soldiers there and basing in Korea. We do many things together. Korea 
has invested billions of dollars in the United States of America.
  The Hyundai plant that makes the Sonata automobiles--one of the most 
popular automobiles in America today--is in Montgomery, AL. There are 
3,000 workers, plus additional suppliers, many of which are Korean 
companies that have invested here and hired Alabamans--Americans--to 
work in their plant, and they do this around the country. They are 
honorable and when they sign agreements, you can expect them, as well 
or better than most nations, to adhere to it. They are disciplined 
people with integrity and they are smart and well educated. They are 
allies--strategic allies.
  So in each one of these agreements, it is my best judgment that it 
will be beneficial to us. For example, with regard to Colombia, under 
the Andean Trade Agreement, basically, they can import products into 
the United States with no duty, for the most part. But this agreement 
is critical to them producing their tariffs on the products that we 
ship to Colombia. Colombia buys a lot of our products. They are one of 
the best customers we have in South America. They have a positive view 
of the United States. I have a very positive view of Colombia.
  My thought on these agreements would be that, yes, I think each one 
of these agreements has been negotiated sufficiently well to ensure 
that we will have a beneficial relationship. It will help us be more 
economically strong than we would be if we did not have these 
agreements. We are in a world economy. It makes no sense to me to think 
we can just build a wall around the United States and stop trade from 
occurring. That doesn't make sense to me. But I do believe that each 
and every trade agreement has to be carefully considered, and I expect 
the USTR to enforce the laws we pass.
  We need to be sure we have the mechanisms in place to assure that 
those with whom we agree to trade will follow fair trade, will follow 
the terms of the contract, and will otherwise follow the requirements 
of a decent trading partner. I believe all three of these countries 
will do that. I think all three of these countries represent decent 
  All three of these countries are allies of the United States. With 
regard to all three of these countries, I believe the signing of these 
treaties will enhance our economic vitality and will be good for us. I 
suggest, however, that it is not going to be an overnight boom. Trading 
is a two-way street. We will have economic advantage, and that is 
sufficient to me. It will be felt over decades. It has been said by 
someone--and I see Senator McCain and he can probably remember who said 
it--that there has never been a war between two countries, both of 
which have a MacDonald's.
  Now, I don't know if that is accurate anymore or not, but most of the 
wars we get into are with countries that are isolated, backward, and 
insular. Trade can reduce the chance of war and hostile relations 
between nations. It can build positive relations.
  So from that point of view, Mr. President, I think these trade 
agreements are agreements I can support. I believe my colleagues, if 
they analyze them, will reach the same conclusion. We are showing 
substantial increases in our exports to all three of these countries, 
and I do believe our exports would increase more with these agreements 
if they are ratified.
  I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator 
from Ohio, Mr. Brown, be next to speak following my remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. I thank the Senator.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I support ratification of the three free-
trade agreements we are debating. They are long overdue, and they are 
important to job creation in this country. While we have waited around, 
these countries have concluded free-trade agreements with other 
countries, much to the detriment of American exports.
  The best example I can cite of that is several years ago, 40 percent 
of the imports of agricultural products into Colombia were from the 
United States of America, while today only 20 percent of their 
agricultural imports are from the United States because while we have 
been waiting, Colombia has concluded free-trade agreements with other 
nations which have given them access to their markets while we were not 
able to expand. One of the ironies of all this is, thanks to a rather 
complicated process that took place during President Clinton's 
administration, the results of the Andean trade preference agreements 
meant there were tariffs on U.S. goods going into Colombia but no 
tariff on Colombian goods coming into the United States.
  But why I am here this afternoon, Mr. President, is because what has 
been unremarked on--and which was outrageous about this whole process 
we have been through in these times of fiscal difficulties--is that 
roughly $1.3 billion is going to be spent on the so-called TAA, trade 
adjustment assistance. I would like to remind my colleagues the TAA was 
adopted in order to satisfy many of the concerns of labor and others at 
the time of the passage of other free-trade agreements, and like other 
government programs, spending on the TAA has grown and grown and grown 
and grown.
  By the way, this was supposed to be for individuals, and, originally 
at least, individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of jobs 
going to the countries which free-trade agreements were entered into.
  In 2006, it was $735 million; in 2007, $779 million; and in 2008, 
$791 million.

[[Page S6426]]

But following the so-called stimulus package--and the stimulus was 
supposed to be temporary--it ballooned to $1.1 billion.
  Additionally, according to the Department of Labor, Congress 
allocated more than $975 million to fund other TAA services, including 
$575 million for job training. In all, the annual TAA spending for the 
stimulus expansion totaled approximately $2 billion.
  Three weeks ago, the Congress passed an agreement to reauthorize the 
TAA through 2014. This paved the way for these free-trade agreements to 
be considered today. The agreement pares back some of the expansions 
from the 2009 stimulus and funds the program somewhere between the 
prestimulus and poststimulus levels. This ``compromise,'' which, by the 
way, was negotiated by Republicans in the House of Representatives, 
will increase the annual TAA spending by at least $460 million above 
the prestimulus levels before 2012 and 2013. Therefore, the total cost 
to taxpayers for the deal to allow these trade agreements to be 
considered by the Senate will be $1.3 billion through 2014.
  According to the Heritage Foundation, the TAA spending legislation 
passed by this body 3 weeks ago does the following: No. 1, it keeps the 
2009 stimulus expansion for service sector workers. The stimulus, by 
the way, was supposed to be temporary. TAA was originally intended to 
provide income maintenance and job training to workers from the 
manufacturing sector. The stimulus bill expanded eligibility to include 
workers from the service and public sectors. This expansion expired in 
February, but the agreement restored TAA eligibility for service sector 
  No. 2, it restored the stimulus expansion of benefits for job losses 
that are unrelated to free-trade agreements. The agreement retained the 
stimulus expansion of providing TAA benefits to any workers who lost 
their jobs to overseas production, not just TAA-certified jobs that 
were lost to free-trade agreements.
  No. 3, it reinstated the stimulus's 160 percent increase in trade 
adjustment assistance for workers' job training spending. The proposal 
cemented the stimulus spending expansion of TAA for workers' job 
training at $575 million a year from $220 million, an increase of $355 
million a year.
  No. 4, it continued the stimulus's creation of a new and duplicative 
job-training program. The agreement kept the TAA Community College and 
Career Training Program, which will dole out $2 billion over the years 
2011 through 2014.
  So this program cries out for significant reform. The previous 
administration's agency leader called for FAA deficiencies to be 
addressed for the displaced workers who need the TAA benefits. In 
testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on June 14, 2007, 
the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor called on Congress to take the 
``opportunity to improve the current TAA program to help workers gain 
the skills needed to successfully compete in the global economy.'' The 
administration didn't listen and neither did Congress.
  Let's look at an example of excess created in the temporary stimulus 
expansion of the TAA program that taxpayers are still on the hook for. 
According to a February 2011 study by Senator Coburn entitled, ``Help 
Wanted: How Federal Job Training Programs are Failing Workers,'' 
quoting from the study that Senator Coburn brought to this body:

       Taxpayers may have a case of indigestion when they learn, 
     nearly 2 years after the stimulus was enacted, their money is 
     paying lobstermen, shrimpers and blueberry farmers $12,000 
     each to attend job training sessions on jobs that they are 
     already trained to do. The stimulus reauthorized the Trade 
     Adjustment Assistance for the Farmers program administered by 
     the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a program that provides 
     subsidies to producers of raw agricultural commodities and 
     fishermen so they can adjust to import competition. Under the 
     stimulus, TAA benefits were enhanced to focus more on 
     employment retraining.
  Recently, the Department of Labor issued a report on the TAA program 
which indicated that only approximately 50 percent of the TAA training 
participants were actually placed in new jobs. While we can be happy 
for the 50 percent that used the training for new employment, a 50-
percent success level is, of course, dismally low. Our obligation 
should have been to reform and fix the flaws in the program. Instead, 
we expanded it.
  I am a big supporter of America's community colleges. One of the best 
community college networks happens to be in my home State of Arizona. 
It has been suggested that the TAA for Community Colleges Program, 
which was vastly expanded in the stimulus bill, has become nothing but 
a vehicle to funnel scarce tax dollars to community colleges around the 
country whether they need the money or not, with no performance 
reviews, no standards for graduation, and no oversight.
  In March 2010, the Senate and House leadership, together with the 
administration, funded the TAA for Community Colleges Program $2 
billion over 4 years. Just last month--conveniently, right before the 
end of the fiscal year--the Department of Labor rolled out the money to 
individual community colleges and consortiums of community colleges. 
The money started flowing without regard to how well the community 
colleges did at graduating their students or whether there was 
sufficient TAA need.
  Several of the community colleges have received grants of over $2\1/
2\ million of taxpayer funds while having extremely low graduation 
rates. Shouldn't we ensure that an institution can actually graduate 
its students before funneling money to it?
  For example, Oklahoma City Community College received $2.7 million. 
This institution had a graduation rate of 11 percent. If there was any 
doubt that the administration was using this program to funnel money to 
community colleges without regard to need or their ability to help 
dislocated workers receive training, let me just read from the 
Department of Labor grant announcement issued last week.

       The following is a list of the entities in each State that 
     will be receiving funding. The Department of Labor's 
     Employment and Training Administration is continuing to work 
     with these institutions to develop final performance 
     operating and spending plans.

  Earlier this year, the GAO released a study entitled ``Multiple 
Training and Employment Programs: Providing Information on Collocating 
Services and Consolidating Administrative Structures Could Promote 
Efficiencies.'' Here is what the GAO reported on Federal employment and 
retraining programs, including trade adjustment assistance.

       Based on our survey of agency officials, we determined that 
     only 5 of the 47 programs have had impact studies that assess 
     whether the program is responsible for improved employment 
     outcomes. The five impact studies generally found that the 
     effects of participation were not consistent across programs, 
     with only some demonstrating positive impacts that tended to 
     be small, inclusive, or restricted to short-term impacts.

  So what are we doing? We are going to spend at least $1.3 billion, 
part of it on programs that clearly the Government Accountability 
Office says have not been productive in any way and are small, 
inclusive, or restricted to short-term impacts.
  There are a lot of questions about the TAA Program. Does the TAA 
Program provide overly generous benefits to a narrow population? 
According to an analysis from the Heritage Foundation, based on 
statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the third quarter of 
fiscal year 2009 only 1 percent of mass layoffs were the result of 
import competition or overseas relocation.
  Is there evidence that TAA benefits and training help participants' 
earnings? An analysis by Professor Kara M. Reynolds of American 
University found ``little evidence that it [TAA] helps displaced 
workers find new, well-paying employment opportunities.'' In fact, TAA 
participants experienced a wage loss of 10 percent. The same study 
found that, in fiscal 2007, the Federal Government appropriated $885.1 
million to TAA programs. Of this amount, funding for training programs 
accounted for only 25 percent.

  In 2007, the Office of Management and Budget rated the TAA programs 
as ``ineffective.'' The OMB found that the TAA Program fails to use tax 
dollars effectively because, among other reasons, the program has 
failed to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of achieving its goals.
  Let me close by reminding my colleagues how we got to our current 
predicament. It is mid-October of 2011, 2\1/2\ years since President 
Obama took office, and we are just now considering

[[Page S6427]]

these important trade agreements that were finalized half a decade ago, 
all because of the White House's insistence on making a temporary 
stimulus program--the dubious extension of TAA--into a permanent 
domestic spending program.
  This is how George Will summed it up, writing in the Washington Post, 
on June 8, 2011:

       President Obama is sacrificing economic growth and job 
     creation in order to placate organized labor. And as the 
     crisis of the welfare state deepens, he is trying to enlarge 
     the entitlement system and exacerbate the entitlement 
       On May 4, the administration announced that, at last, it 
     was ready to proceed with congressional ratification of the 
     agreements. On May 16, however, it announced it would not 
     send them until Congress expands an entitlement program 
     favored by unions.
       Since 1974, Trade Adjustment Assistance has provided 104, 
     and then 156, weeks of myriad financial aid, partly 
     concurrent with the 99 weeks of unemployment compensation, to 
     people, including farmers and government workers and firms, 
     even whole communities, that can more or less plausibly claim 
     to have lost their jobs or been otherwise injured because of 
     foreign competition. Even if the injury is just the loss of 
     unfair advantages conferred, at the expense of other 
     Americans, by government protectionism.

  This process should be appalling to the average American who is 
looking for an improving economy, not special favors to certain special 
interest groups.
  Our national debt has reached unsustainable levels. Congress and the 
American people face some truly painful choices about how to cut our 
Federal budget. At a time when some are even considering enormous and 
dangerous cuts to our defense spending as a way to get our fiscal house 
in order, we shouldn't be throwing more and more scarce money at a 
Federal program that, as the GAO points out, is duplicative and 
possibly ineffective.
  There is guilt on both sides of the aisle for the extension of this 
program. It has not had proper scrutiny, it has not had proper 
oversight. The studies that have been done have shown that it is 
practically useless--or certainly not useful--and ineffective; and now, 
as a price for these free-trade agreements, which I strongly support, 
we will be laying another $2 billion on the taxpayers of America, 
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I would like to briefly explain my position 
on the free trade agreements/trade adjustment assistance package.
  I support the free trade agreements, FTAs, with Panama, Colombia, and 
South Korea, and only wish these agreements had been taken up sooner. 
The FTAs represent true, bipartisan jobs legislation, and I am pleased 
they will soon become law. Free trade agreements have proven to be one 
of the best ways to open up foreign markets to American exporters. 
These agreements will create tens of thousands of new jobs by boosting 
American exports to three nations. The FTAs will also strengthen 
America's interests in two strategically important regions.
  I do not, however, support the trade adjustment assistance, TAA, deal 
that was negotiated as part of the compromise to pass the FTAs. Nor do 
I think it should have been included in the FTA negotiations.
  I have several key objections. First is the enormous costs. Over the 
next 3 years, the TAA deal adds over $1.15 billion in new costs to the 
baseline TAA costs. Together, baseline TAA and these provisions will 
cost almost $6 billion for the 2011-2013 fiscal years.
  Second, the TAA deal does not represent a true compromise. The 
proposal was made only by three of the strongest TAA supporters. No 
critic of TAA was included in the negotiations.
  Third, the umbrella of TAA programs deserved greater scrutiny than 
the process allowed. Instead of a moving a reauthorization with some 
rudimentary changes, fundamental reform should have been completed. 
There is little evidence that the TAA programs are actually effective, 
and, under this deal, we are going to spend billions of dollars on 
these programs without knowing whether they actually help Americans. 
Moreover, no work was done to reform the TAA training funding to 
reflect the fact that there are already over 40 programs dedicated to 
worker training.
  Fourth, the TAA deal represents false reform. Proponents try to take 
credit for eliminating two grant programs within TAA for communities--
programs which were already repealed. Proponents also cite the 
elimination of the mandatory nature of TAA for farmers/fisheries, which 
were already defunded for other purposes. Only in Washington would 
someone try to take credit for ``ending'' programs that no longer exist 
or that have no funding.
  Proponents also claim that the size of the TAA for firms program was 
reduced. But that program represents a status quo authorization and is 
one already targeted by President Obama for elimination. How does level 
funding and rejecting a repeal recommendation constitute reform?
  For these reasons, and others, I voted against the trade adjustment 
assistance legislation when it was considered a few weeks ago. The FTAs 
are sufficiently meritorious on their own accord without tying in a 
poorly designed and operated social welfare program such as TAA.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. President, I would like to speak in opposition 
to these three pending free-trade agreements.
  The bills look like they are about this size. These are the actual 
implementing of the three free-trade agreements. But one of the bills, 
and not the largest one--the one, in fact, of the three countries we 
are probably today passing trade agreements with, Colombia, South 
Korea, and Panama--the smallest by far in terms of its economy is 
Panama, and this is the trade agreement with Panama.
  I remember all these conservative talk radio people saying: Have you 
read the bill? Have you read the bill? Have you read the bill? Every 
time it is a bill they don't agree with, they ask: Have you read the 
bill? This isn't just to eliminate the tariffs we have with the 
Republic of Panama. If these agreements were about eliminating tariffs 
with labor standards--and I know the Presiding Officer from Oregon 
shares that view about labor standards. If these agreements were about 
eliminating tariffs and labor standards, they would be about this big. 
They wouldn't be anything like this. But these are chock-full of 
special interest deals. It is what this body always does: the North 
American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico; the PNTR with 
China, a different kind of situation but leading to even more problems; 
the Central American Free Trade Agreement with six countries in Central 
America and the Dominican Republic. Rules that help the drug companies, 
rules that help the insurance companies, special interest provisions 
that help the banks, special interest provisions that undermine public 
health and undermine safely, that is what these free-trade agreements 
are about.
  I get it. I get it that this is greased. I get it that this will pass 
with overwhelming numbers. I get it that this White House is only this 
much better than the last White House in pushing for these trade 
agreements. These are Bush trade agreements, Korea, Colombia, and 
Panama. President Obama inherited them, but he doesn't get off the hook 
because he has improved these slightly. We have a little bit of an 
improvement with Korea so a few more American cars can be sold into 
Korea, nothing like the number of Korean cars that can be sold in the 
United States because we didn't want to be that tough when we 
negotiated, so we just make slight changes. This President made slight 
changes, and I have seen this. I was in the House for 14 years, and in 
my first term in the Senate I have seen this kind of game played by 
administration after administration. This is technically my fourth 
administration I have worked with, third at some length, and I have 
seen this over and over and over again.
  When I hear of these trade agreements coming forward, every President 
says this is going to create tens of thousands of jobs. NAFTA was going 
to create 200,000 jobs, almost immediately, the first Bush 
administration said. The Clinton administration said: Yes; that is 
right. It is going to create more or less 200,000 jobs immediately. Do 
you know what it has created? It has created a loss of 600,000 jobs 
under the North American Free Trade Agreement. We gain some jobs; we 
lose some jobs, but the net is always lost jobs.
  How many times is an administration going to come forward and how

[[Page S6428]]

many times are we going to believe them? Fool me once, shame on you. 
Fool me twice, shame on me. This body continues, as the House of 
Representatives does--they are a little smarter in the House; they 
don't pass these with quite the same numbers in the overwhelming 
margins, but they continue to do the same thing over and over and over.
  The American public doesn't like these trade agreements. The American 
public, in large numbers, under poll after poll after poll--the 
American people don't like NAFTA, don't like CAFTA, don't like PNTR 
with China. Why do you think last night, finally, this body stood--63 
Members of the Senate, almost 20 of them Republicans, voted to finally 
stand up on currency and try to create a level playing field in our 
trade with China? But we don't do it on these other trade agreements. 
With the lobbying efforts on NAFTA, on CAFTA, on PNTR with China, on 
the Panama Trade Agreement, on the Colombia Trade Agreement, on the 
Korea Trade Agreement, the lobbying is overwhelming. Special interest 
groups line up because they are so excited about passing these free-
trade agreements. In the end, we lose jobs every single time.
  When I came to the Congress 20 years ago, we had a trade surplus with 
Mexico and, if I recall, a small trade deficit with Canada. That means 
we sold more to Mexico than we bought from them. We bought more from 
Canada than we sold to them. Today, it is tens of billions of dollars' 
trade deficit we have trilaterally with those two countries.
  The China trade deficit 10 years ago, when China got into the World 
Trade Organization because we passed PNTR in part--that is part of the 
reason they got in--our trade deficit with China was something like $80 
billion; today, it is almost $300 billion, more than three times the 
trade deficit with China. So our answer is, let's do more of it.
  So China undercuts our manufacturing. NAFTA takes away American jobs. 
CAFTA costs us jobs. Yet the geniuses around here, the people--and the 
majority leader has been wonderful in this, opposing trade agreement 
after trade agreement because he gets it--the geniuses around this 
place, in the White House, in the House leadership, in some of the 
Senate leadership, Senate Republican leadership, and far too many of my 
colleagues on my side of the aisle, the geniuses around here are 
saying: Let's pass more trade agreements because it is working.
  Give me one other issue where people in this body en masse, in huge 
numbers, say: This trade policy isn't working so let's try more of it. 
That is exactly what we have done. We continue to pass trade agreements 
that look a lot like NAFTA. We continue to pass trade agreements that 
get us in this situation that cost us jobs.
  I am for more trade. Like most Americans, I want to see us trade more 
with other countries. But like most Americans, I have a problem with 
many of the rules that govern our trade policy because these aren't 
simple--eliminate tariffs. This is a trade policy that time after time 
favors corporate or investors' interests, and, in some cases, actually 
undermines our national security and undermines our national interests.
  When we see the kind of job loss that NAFTA caused and CAFTA caused 
and PNTR caused, and these trade agreements with Panama and Korea and 
Colombia cause, we know this is not good for our national interests.
  That is why I object to these trade agreements: They are more of the 
same broken promises, the same promises about: Oh, yes, it is going to 
create jobs. The same promise about: Oh, yes, it is going to expand our 
  It may expand our markets a little bit, but it costs. We may sell 
some more, but we are buying a lot more from these other countries 
because the trade agreements simply aren't working.
  Trade agreements are permanent. They often handcuff Congress and 
State legislatures from setting new priorities. North American Free 
Trade Agreement. I have heard Presidential candidates in campaigns say: 
Yes, they would work to renegotiate or even repeal NAFTA. Then they 
raise their right hand, get sworn in to be President of the United 
States, and they kind of forget they promised that.
  These trade agreements undermine ``Buy American'' policy. How does 
that work? Because when we pass free-trade agreements, our FTAs, 
bilaterally or trilaterally with other countries, it doesn't give the 
same standing to our ``Buy American'' provisions. Do you think 
countries around the world don't have buy whatever their country is? 
You don't think the Chinese give special preference to ``Buy China''? 
You don't think other countries ever give special preference? But we 
couldn't do that here because that would mean we aren't practicing free 
  Every country in the world practices trade according to their 
national interests. But what do we do in the United States of America? 
What do we do in the Senate? What do they do in the House? What do they 
do in the White House? They practice trade according to some economic 
textbook that was printed before these pages sitting in front of me 
were even born.
  These trade agreements lack any meaningful way to withdraw if the 
promised benefits don't materialize. We passed these trade agreements 
in Ohio communities from Springfield to Chillicothe to Portsmouth to 
Ashtabula to Toledo. These Ohio communities can't understand why they 
are so buffeted by these trade winds that so often undermine their 
ability to make a living.

  These trade agreements were originally negotiated by the Bush 
administration. I don't blame President Obama for that. But to the rest 
of the country, hearing the Obama administration talk about these trade 
agreements sounds like a continuation of the incoherent approach to 
America's engagement in the global economy that we saw with the Bush 
trade agenda.
  Many of us on this floor have criticized the Bush trade policy. The 
Obama trade policy--I am a Democrat, he is a Democrat. The Obama trade 
policy is better than it was under the Bush trade agreement. The Obama 
administration has made these three trade bills a little better--at 
least Korea a little better than it was--a little better. The Obama 
administration has actually enforced trade laws when the Chinese cheat 
on tires, when they cheat on oil country tubular steel, when they cheat 
on glass, when they cheat on aluminum, when they cheat--not on glass; 
when they cheat on paper. We have made some progress.
  There is a new steel mill in the Mahoning Valley in Youngstown, in 
large part, because President Obama enforced trade rules, trade laws 
with the Commission Department of the International Trade Commission. 
It is interesting, though. When the President went to Youngstown to 
talk about the opening of the steel mill, he talked about the Recovery 
Act, and the Recovery Act put some dollars and infrastructure around 
the steel mill, but he neglected to talk about trade policy, which he 
had enforced for these agreements. That is all behind us.
  But these trade policies ignore the elephant in the room, which is 
our trade relationship with China. Last night, as I said, the Senate 
did the right thing on a strong bipartisan vote on Chinese currency. 
But, unfortunately, some of the opponents of cracking down--
unfortunately, I guess. Opponents of cracking down on China's currency 
manipulation are the same supporters of these trade agreements and, on 
both issues, respectfully, they miss the point. People have heard the 
same promises from NAFTA and CAFTA and China PNTR: Businesses promise 
more jobs from increased exports. Yet no one talks about the increased 
imports that pale in comparison.
  So when I used to hear President Bush, Jr.'s predecessor, Bill 
Clinton, always talk about look how NAFTA and these agreements are 
increasing exports, well, they do increase exports, but they increase 
imports so much faster. It was President Bush, first, who said some 
years ago that for every billion dollars of trade, either surplus or 
deficit, it translated into 13,000 jobs. I don't know if that number is 
exactly correct--it probably is a little less than that now with 
inflation what a job is worth in dollars. But if $1 billion in trade 
surplus creates 13,000 jobs, that means $1 billion in trade deficits 
costs us 13,000 jobs.
  So when I hear people say: Oh, these trade agreements, they are 
increasing exports, we have to tell the whole story.

[[Page S6429]]

  It is akin to a sports reporter on the 11 o'clock news reading the 
baseball scores and saying: The Yankees scored seven runs tonight. That 
means maybe they won? Well, it turns out the Indians scored nine so the 
Yankees lost, which is a good outcome. But the fact is, when we are 
talking about trade, we don't just brag about exports. We have to look 
at what the value of the imports was too. We are not talking about 
that. No one likes to talk about the communities that are left cleaning 
up after a plant is abandoned, moved to somewhere else. No one likes to 
talk about the families who are devastated when the plant closes and 
they lose their jobs. Nobody wants to talk about what happens to our 
national security when a steel mill closes and the jobs go elsewhere.

  To keep up, each month the economy must add 150,000 new jobs, just to 
keep up with population growth. There are 14 million who are unemployed 
and another 15 million who are underemployed or who have stopped 
searching for work. What do Korea, Colombia, and Panama trade 
agreements have to do with that? We did a great thing last night by 
standing up to China on currency, but then we are giving it away with 
trade agreements such as these that cost us jobs rather than increase 
jobs. I do not get it. A good week? It was not such a good week for 
international trade and for us creating jobs in this country.
  Most people, when they think about trade, think about goods and 
tariffs, but these agreements are not just about tariffs. If they were 
just about tariffs, as I said, these agreements would be relatively 
short, a simple declaration of tariff rates. Instead, as I said, these 
agreements are hundreds of pages on procurement rules and financial 
services and investor-state dispute resolution. What does that mean? 
What it means is a whole lot of corporate lobbyists lobbied the 
administration--the Finance Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, 
the Senate and House committees that work on these things--and struck 
gold. It means these corporate lobbyists had their way in Washington 
again, that these corporate lobbyists never lose on these trade 
agreements. In the end, they almost always get their way, but it so 
much and in so many ways undermines our public interest and certainly 
undermines jobs.
  These are complex agreements. They do not have to be that complex. 
But then some of my colleagues say we are falling behind when Brazil 
and Korea and the European Union sign trade deals. What they do not say 
is that these are not the same kinds of agreements. If they were just 
about lowering tariffs in a reciprocal way--but they are not--if they 
were not the United States giving away the store for a little access, 
if they were just about tariffs, as I said earlier, and strong labor 
standards, we probably would have had a voice vote and passed them 
already. But these are not the same deals Brazil or the European Union 
signs with Korea. Let me explain that for a moment.
  The European Union-Korea agreement does not have investor-state 
dispute resolution. Most countries have strong legal systems, and the 
EU and Korean negotiators decided they did not need to create a new 
privileged process under the trade deal to resolve disputes. In other 
words, if Korea has a food safety rule and the European Union has a 
food safety rule, they do not have to come into conflict because they 
do not have this dispute resolution that we do in our agreements. Then 
what happens when it is food safety or product safety? Do you know what 
happens? The country with the weaker rules wins.
  What these trade agreements with the investor-state provisions--
something the Europeans and Brazilians didn't do with Korea--with these 
provisions, it means we are weakening food safety laws, weakening 
consumer protection laws, weakening the kind of sovereignty that I 
thought people--particularly conservatives in this body--cared about.
  When an investor can challenge a law in Korea or the United States 
under the special privilege process, outside the normal legal system, 
it can have the effect of chilling nondiscriminatory safety rules. But 
having a special privilege system outside the normal legal process is 
exactly what some companies want in these trade deals. In other words, 
if a company in the United States cannot find a way--if they are 
unsuccessful at lobbying the Senate, the House of Representatives, and 
the President, unsuccessful in weakening consumer protection measures 
or undermining a food safety rule, if they have been unsuccessful doing 
that directly here, through these trade agreements they are able to do 
  If Panama has weaker rules on investor protections, has weaker rules 
on financial consumer protection, weaker rules on food safety laws, 
then, through these trade agreements, it gives these corporate 
interests a back door to weaken our safety rules.
  We fight like crazy around here to have strong consumer protections, 
to have safe pharmaceutical rules, to have good, strong pharmaceutical 
safety rules. We fight for those things, but then we are going to allow 
these trade agreements to undermine that.
  These agreements affect investment dynamics and corporate 
decisionmaking. They affect how a company makes decisions in 2 years, 5 
years, 10 years, so these are important long term for these companies. 
Yet Congress has a few hours to debate these and vote up or down, with 
no amendments. These agreements are permanent. They affect the flow of 
goods and services on a permanent basis across the world for decades to 
come. These agreements are hundreds of pages, and here we are fitting 
them into the workweek, voting them up or down. The vote tonight is at 
  I don't hear Rush Limbaugh, I don't hear the Washington Post, I don't 
hear others--conservatives on the other side of the aisle say: I can't 
believe you are jamming this through so fast, which is what they said 
on health care, which took months and months. They jammed this through 
in 48 hours, but that is OK because it is a trade agreement, even 
though it is this long and nobody has read it. I am almost sure that 
there is not one Senator out of 100 and maybe none in the 435 in the 
House of Representatives who actually read this bill. And this is the 
least consequential. This is the Panama trade agreement. This is not 
Korea, which is much bigger. This is not Colombia, which is 
significantly bigger. Yet we decided it is OK to fit this because fast 
track--the way we do trade agreements--has a whole special set of 
  In my mind, nothing I know of in this body has this special set of 
rules that trade agreements get. They have to be debated quickly. There 
is a time limit once they are sent up by the President. There is no 
hold allowed on a trade agreement. There is no filibuster allowed on a 
trade agreement. There is no 60-vote threshold. There is a 60-vote 
threshold on confirming a Federal judge out of Toledo, OH. There is a 
60-vote threshold on an Under Secretary of Interior. There is no 60-
vote threshold on an agreement of hundreds of pages that will last 
forever with the Republic of Panama or Colombia or Korea, no 60-
vote requirement, no hold, none of the rules of the Senate that might 
slow this down. Do you know why? Because these are chock-full of 
special interest provisions that every insurance company and drug 
company and bank can get their way and get this in permanent law. No 
scandal there, not with that. We will do it on every other bill but not 
trade agreements.

  Two things, and then I want to close with a story.
  Think about what fast-track authority does. I want to pursue that 
with a little more detail, about how we have these special rules in the 
Senate only for trade agreements, for nothing else.
  First of all, with fast-track authority, in addition to having rules 
in the Senate that are very different from other rules in order that 
these pass quickly, we also delegate authority to the executive 
branch--something we normally don't do. We allow the executive branch 
to set the substance of the negotiations. The executive branch is only 
required to notify Congress 90 days before signing the agreement. The 
executive branch writes the implementing legislation for each trade 
pact without the committees of jurisdiction having actual markups. In 
other words, it circumvents the normal committee process. Once the 
executive branch has submitted the bill, we have to vote for the 
implementing bill within 90 days. The votes in both Chambers are highly

[[Page S6430]]

privileged. Normal congressional floor procedures are waived, including 
unanimous consent. Debates are limited, and no amendments are allowed. 
The result is that Congress is given little time. In the present case, 
the Senate has 4 hours to debate each agreement.
  I am amazed. I mean, where are the conservatives in this country who 
said: Don't give Barack Obama so much power. You just did when you 
passed this. Why? Because it is a trade agreement. The rules are always 
different. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, said his No. 1 goal 
in 2011 and 2012 is to make sure Barack Obama is a one-term President. 
We don't want to give him any power, we want to criticize him on 
everything--except, Mr. President, we would like to give you this, and 
you do whatever you want on these special trade agreements. Just the 
hypocrisy here on trade is beyond belief.
  Let me close with what I think may tell the story of the importance 
of how we practice trade around the world. Some years ago, I flew into 
South Texas at my own expense, rented a car, and with two friends 
crossed the Texas-Mexican border just to follow up on what had happened 
with NAFTA. This was the mid- to late 1990s. I wanted to see how NAFTA 
was working out for the United States and Mexico along the border where 
there were so many manufacturing plants.
  Right near the border, there was an auto plant, a GM plant. This GM 
plant looked just like a General Motors plant, not much different from 
Lordstown near Youngstown, not much different from the GM plant in my 
hometown of Mansfield, which unfortunately is now closed, not much 
different from any other auto plant. It was modern, the floors were 
clean, great technology. But there was one difference between the two 
plants, one major difference: The GM plant in Mexico didn't have a 
parking lot because the workers were not paid enough to buy the cars 
they made. That may tell you something.
  I didn't do this, but go around the world, and in Malaysia, in the 
Motorola plant, the workers didn't get paid enough to buy a lot of the 
Motorola electronics they made. Then go back to Central America and go 
to Costa Rica, and the workers in the Costa Rica Disney plant were not 
making enough to buy the toys for their children that they made. Go to 
China, go almost anywhere in the world in these developing countries 
where we either have trade agreements or where our trade policy has 
such impact, where companies in the United States shut down--never in 
world history have companies in one country, to the degree they do 
here--they shut down in the United States and move to China, move to 
Mexico, move to Malaysia, move to Indonesia, and then they sell their 
products back to the United States.
  How do you build a country's wealth when you do that? And the reason 
they do is because these workers in Mexico who are building cars, in 
Malaysia making electronic equipment, in Costa Rica making Disney 
toys--these workers don't share in the wealth they create. They are not 
making enough from the jobs they do to buy the things they make.
  The beauty of our system and what has made the United States a 
prosperous country with a strong middle class is--partly because of 
unions, partly because of democracy--is our workers typically earn 
enough that they can buy the products they make. In other words, if the 
workers are creating wealth for the company, for their bosses, they get 
paid enough, they can extract enough of that wealth that they can have 
a decent standard of living. Not in Mexico, China, Malaysia, or many of 
these countries that are part of this free-trade regimen.
  Let me take you to one more place on this little tour around the 
world. Let me take you to a midwestern meatpacking plant. Most of these 
meatpacking plants were union plants. They had very little turnover. 
Workers were making very good wages, and they were safe, by and large, 
because the workers had demanded safety and the U.S. Government had 
enforced it.
  Well, what has happened in the last 10 or 15 years in these 
meatpacking plants is the union has been busted. Many of the workers 
are immigrants. They are immigrants who--probably some of them are not 
legal, but certainly these immigrants who are there are not about to 
form a union. They do not speak English, sometimes, very well. They are 
not so certain they are going to be able to stay in this country. They 
are just not going to speak out. They are hardly ever going to talk 
back to their boss and will never form a union.
  Here is what happened. It used to be in those plants--pardon me if my 
numbers are not precise here because it has been a while since I 
thought about this--it used to be in these meatpacking plants that the 
workers would stand there, they would have the vinyl aprons and a sharp 
knife because they were processing beef, and the carcasses would be 
hung on the big hooks, and the carcasses would slowly go by, about 150 
an hour, something like that. So these workers would be standing there 
and they would make their cut as the carcasses went by slowly, 150 an 
hour. After they busted the union, they sped up the line. When it is 
150 an hour, that is about the right speed for them to do this work. 
They almost doubled the speed of the carcasses as they went by, and two 
things happened: Workers had to hurry, so they were more likely to hurt 
themselves because they would aim the knife, and because it was moving 
fast, they might end up glancing off the bone and cutting their leg. 
The other thing that would happen is workers were much more likely to 
drop their knives, quickly pick them up, wipe them on their apron, and 
go back to work. Here is the interesting thing. The line had sped up to 
300, more or less, an hour. On Thursdays they slowed the line back. Do 
my colleagues know why? Because Thursday was the day these meatpacking 
companies were shipping those carcasses, that processed meat, to 
Europe, and Europe has higher food safety standards than the United 
States does. So if these workers could work fast, and if they dropped 
the knife and wiped it off, the meat might get a little contaminated. 
That is OK for U.S. food safety standards, but the Europeans, who had 
higher food safety standards, said, We are not buying your beef unless 
you slow the line down and make it safer.

  That is what globalization would be. It is not just workers in Mexico 
who can't buy the cars; it is not just Motorola workers in Malaysia or 
Disney workers in Costa Rica who can't buy the products they make; it 
also undermines our food safety and drug safety and consumer 
  These agreements are not trade agreements. They are special interest 
laws that never see the light of day because of the peculiar rules of 
the Senate.
  We should be ashamed of ourselves for passing these agreements, 
period, and especially passing them under these provisions. I hope the 
administration learns something from this. I hope the administration 
decides, on these trade agreements, instead of being on the side of the 
largest corporations in the country and in the world, which don't 
always look out for American interests--I hope the administration and 
the Members of the House and Senate will decide they want to be on the 
side of American families, of American communities, of American 
workers, of American small companies that make goods and want to sell 
all over the world.
  I yield the floor and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Hagan). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, international trade has always been 
controversial. That has been true since the days of the Smoot-Hawley 
effort--Hawley, by the way, was an Oregon Congressman--and it continues 
to be true today. It is important to our country and important to my 
home State that I made a special priority, when I was given the honor 
of serving on the Senate Finance Committee, to queue up to be able to 
chair the Subcommittee on International Trade and Global 
Competitiveness, because I think it important that we continue our work 
here in the Senate to keep pushing to keep our trade policy on the 
right track.

[[Page S6431]]

  I wish to describe today three aspects of this debate that are 
indisputable. In other words, we have lots of differences of opinion 
with respect to past agreements--did they create jobs, did they not 
create jobs, and how did they affect various parts of the country--and 
suffice it to say reasonable people can differ with respect to these 
analyses. But I have been able, as the chair of this subcommittee of 
the Senate Finance Committee--the Subcommittee on International Trade 
and Global Competitiveness--to dig deeply into this issue.
  I believe there are three indisputable positions with respect to the 
agreements we will be voting on tonight that the Senate ought to take 
into consideration that are at the core of why I will be voting later 
this evening in favor of the agreements.
  The first position is there is a huge appetite all around the world 
for American goods and services. We are the gold standard. People 
around the world want to buy Brand USA. They want to display it. They 
want to feature it. There is no question that we have an opportunity to 
feed this huge demand for American goods and services. I think we ought 
to go forward and tap this opportunity. The bottom line is if we don't 
take this opportunity to burnish this Brand America and get our goods 
and services around the world, we can be very sure that somebody else 
will be right there, and it is most likely to be China. That is point 
No. 1. I think it is indisputable.
  Point No. 2 is the challenge today in global markets is to capture 
the entire supply chain. That means everything from raw materials to 
component parts to the finished good. When I talk about this 
opportunity to capture the global supply chain, what it means to me in 
Oregon, and I think it means the same thing in North Carolina or South 
Dakota--I see my friend and colleague, who is the ranking member on the 
trade subcommittee, and it has been a pleasure for me to work with 
him--and I think all over the United States, capturing this supply 
chain in the global economy means the same thing, and that is what we 
ought to do--what I say at home in Oregon and I am sure my friend in 
South Dakota says exactly the same thing, let us grow it in Oregon, let 
us make it in Oregon, let us add value to it in Oregon, and then let us 
ship it somewhere. It is a huge opportunity we have in front of us to 
tap this global supply chain where, once again, if we walk away from 
this kind of opportunity, we can be very certain that China will be 
right there to fill the void.
  The third issue involves the question of tariffs. I have heard people 
say, well, these agreements have lots of other things in them, lots of 
other provisions that are unrelated to tariffs. There is no question 
that is accurate. But at the end of the day, if American import tariffs 
are in low and American goods are faced with very high tariffs when 
they arrive into foreign markets, that is a very substantial advantage 
for our trading partners. As I highlighted yesterday in the Senate 
Finance Committee, when we want to send our beef, Oregon beef, to 
Korea, we sometimes face a 40-percent tariff. When Korea sends their 
beef to us here in the United States, it can be as low as 4 percent. 
That is a tenfold difference.
  I could go through a whole host of other products.
  Oregon wine faces a tariff in Korea that is fifteen times higher than 
wine that is imported into the U.S.
  Value-added wood products. I know the Presiding Officer, the Senator 
from North Carolina, cares an awful lot about wood products. Well, the 
fact of the matter is, if we want to send finished wood into Korea--not 
the raw materials. We all know what we want to do, again, is add value 
to wood products, a key component of the Pacific northwest's economy, 
of the southern economy. We want to add value to it. Well, the fact is, 
the tariffs are four times as high for finished wood products in Korea 
as they are here in the United States.
  These are indisputable facts: the question of the tariffs, the 
question of the global supply chain, and the Brand USA opportunity I 
have described as this huge appetite for American goods and services 
that exists around the world that I think we will be making a grave 
mistake to pass up an opportunity to level the playing field by 
dismantling foreign trade barriers to U.S. goods and services, whether 
they are tariffs or otherwise. The free trade agreements with Korea, 
Colombia, and Panama provide us an opportunity to level the playing 
field for U.S. producers who would like to feed the appetite for 
American goods and services in Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
  There are a lot of other issues associated with the votes we are 
going to have to cast. I feel very strongly about the trade adjustment 
assistance program because I want to make sure, in an economy that is 
constantly changing, our workers have a trampoline, in effect, to get 
the training and the skills they need to succeed, which may mean moving 
into new careers. People think the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program 
is just about workers. This is a crucial program for employers, and 
that is why it has so much support among employers. Employers need 
workers with the types of skills that enable them to be competitive in 
global markets, and trade adjustment assistance helps in this regard.
  By the way, one of the concerns business is continually citing, and 
increasingly so, is the mismatch they often face where they need 
workers who have one sort of skill but the workers in their community 
do not have what they need. So, with the Trade Adjustment Assistance 
Program, we can close that skills gap, we can do more to ensure 
businesses can get the type of workers they can rely on to be efficient 
and competitive. So, the idea that trade adjustment assistance is just 
for workers is a mistake. It is a major plus to our employers. 
Oversight over trade adjustment assistance is going to be one of the 
things that the subcommittee on trade, which I chair, is going to zero 
in on.
  Worker issues: Another one we will be looking at on the subcommittee 
involves issues relating to workers rights under the U.S.-Colombia Free 
Trade Agreement. There, our concern is violence--demonstrable, serious 
violence against Colombian union members and the impunity the 
perpetrators of such violence have enjoyed.
  This situation does seem to be getting a bit better. The Santos 
administration understands the concern. There is an agreement with 
Colombia on an action plan on labor that sets in motion a series of 
steps the Colombian Government is taking to provide workers with more 
adequate labor rights and protection from violence. But there is a lot 
more to do, and I intend to conduct meaningful oversight over the labor 
situation in Colombia and Colombia's adherence to its commitments to 
the Obama administration. As far as I am concerned, that is going to 
start as soon as these agreements have been voted on. Senator Stabenow, 
Senator Cardin, and Senator Menendez will be joining me, and we are all 
going to be doing more to make sure the Obama administration provides 
the Congress with annual reports on the labor situation in Colombia and 
the impact of the labor action plan that was reached by the Obama 
administration and the Santos administration.
  I have mentioned trade adjustment assistance. I have mentioned labor 
rights. I want to close in terms of future work that is related to this 
topic by talking about China because certainly these trade agreements 
and the ability to tap the opportunity, particularly in our country, 
for family wage employment through more exports is going to require 
tougher enforcement of our trade laws and, particularly, the Obama 
administration getting serious about enforcing the laws on the books.
  We have had a series of investigations looking at cheating--cheating, 
Madam President. I use that word specifically. I guess you could call 
it merchandise laundering because some foreign producers, when they are 
faced with U.S. trade remedy laws, like anti dumping and countervailing 
duties, instead of doing the right thing and coming into compliance, 
decide to ship their U.S.-bound merchandise through another country in 
order to falsify the country of origin import documents. This is going 
to be an even more important challenge when the trade agreement with 
Korea goes into force. Fortunately, we have bipartisan legislation in 
order to stop this type cheating, to strengthen the enforcement of our 
trade laws. It is going to be even more important to pass that effort 
to eliminate this kind of cheating because

[[Page S6432]]

with respect to the agreement and Korea, Chinese suppliers have a long 
history of laundering their goods through Korea in order to avoid U.S. 
trade laws by suggesting the Chinese merchandise is from Korea.
  On the question of cheating, we have documented the problem in our 
hearings of the Finance Subcommittee on International Trade. And we 
have a bipartisan bill with, I believe, four Democratic Senators and 
four Republican Senators. It's called the Enforce Act and we are ready 
to move it forward. I was very pleased, in the discussion in the 
Finance Committee, Chairman Baucus and Senator Hatch, the ranking 
minority member, said this effort to fight these practices, this kind 
of cheating--which potentially could get worse unless you strengthen 
enforcement--Chairman Baucus and Senator Hatch said it was going to be 
a priority for them, and they wanted to make our anticheating 
legislation a must-pass effort before the end of this year, that they 
would attach it to a must-pass piece of legislation.
  I could go on.
  Even today, the administration is going forward with the anti-
counterfeiting trade agreement, or ACTA, without doing it with the 
approval of the Congress. I think that is a mistake. I think that may 
be misreading of the law that the executive branch can do it of its own 
accord, and many legal scholars agree. We are going to tackle that in 
the days ahead because those issues are important now. They will be 
even more important, given the expansions of trade and commerce when 
these agreements are approved.
  So there is a lot to do to keep the country's trade agenda on track. 
Level the playing field for U.S. producers. Ensure we have a 
competitive workforce. Advance labor rights, and enforce the trade laws 
to combat unfair trade. At the end of the day, if we miss one 
opportunity to do more to market our brand around the world in order to 
enable Americans to make things here and grow things here and 
continually add value to them, dominate that supply chain--which I 
think is going to be the overriding issue for global competitiveness in 
the days ahead--if we walk away from those issues, and enabling U.S. 
producers to export--to feed the foreign appetite for our goods and 
services--we are walking away from the opportunity for American workers 
to get the good-paying jobs in the private sector that they need.
  In my home State, international trade is a very significant barometer 
of our economy, with estimates even being that one out of six jobs in 
Oregon depends on international trade, and the trade jobs pay better 
than do the nontrade jobs. I want America to be the leader in seizing 
the opportunities that exist to sell goods and services in foreign 
markets. I want Oregon producers of high-value goods and services to 
benefit from our efforts here in the Senate to level the playing field 
in global markets. These trade related jobs that we can help create--I 
call them red, white, and blue jobs--these are the kinds of jobs I want 
for this country that I know the Presiding Officer wants, where we do 
allow American productivity and American ingenuity to continually 
innovate and compete.
  There are other issues. I know the Presiding Officer cares a great 
deal about tax policy, global tax policy. Senator Coats and I have a 
bipartisan tax reform proposal. We look forward to working with the 
Presiding Officer on that issue.
  But today is a chance to expand our opportunity to get the American 
brand, the USA brand for goods and services, in markets that are 
growing, in markets that you can bet China wants.

  I know this is controversial. Trade policy always is. But I think, 
for our workers to get the chance to get our goods and services into 
growing markets--growing markets that China wants--that my colleagues 
support the trade agreements that are before us today.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. THUNE. Madam President, I, too, rise in strong support of the 
pending trade agreements with America's allies, Colombia, South Korea, 
and Panama.
  These agreements hold great promise for American farmers, 
manufacturers, service providers, and American consumers. I would echo 
my colleague from Oregon, who chairs the Subcommittee on Trade on the 
Finance Committee; that is, these trade agreements position American 
businesses to capture more of that supply chain to enable us to create 
jobs here at home and to grow the economy, to generate economic 
activity out there that otherwise we would not see happening. At a time 
when we need to focus our efforts on measures that will promote 
economic growth and job creation, these agreements are exactly the type 
of legislation we ought to be considering.
  There is broad consensus these agreements are going to benefit our 
economy. The Obama White House estimates that enactment of these three 
trade agreements will boost exports by at least $12 billion, supporting 
over 70,000 American jobs.
  The Business Roundtable estimates that passage of these trade 
agreements will support as many as 250,000 American jobs. These are not 
only jobs at large businesses but increasingly at smaller companies 
that are accessing international markets.
  As an example of that, more than 35,000 small and mid-sized American 
businesses export to Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, and these firms 
now account for more than one-third of U.S. exports to these countries. 
Passing these three trade agreements will provide export opportunities 
to American businesses of all sizes, creating good-paying jobs here at 
  The benefits to U.S. agriculture from passing these agreements are 
especially compelling. These three agreements are estimated to 
represent $3 billion in new agricultural exports that will support 
22,500 U.S. agricultural-related jobs.
  My State of South Dakota is a good example if you look at the export 
potential for U.S. agriculture represented by these agreements. 
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, these agreements will 
add $52 million each year to South Dakota's farm economy. South Dakota 
is projected to gain $22 million from increased beef exports, $25 
million from increased exports of wheat, soybeans, and corn, and $5 
million from increased pork shipments each year.
  America's market is already largely open to imports from many of our 
trading partners. In fact, almost 99 percent of agricultural products 
from Colombia and Panama, for example, already enters the United States 
duty free. Without trade agreements to ensure similar treatment for our 
exporters, American businesses will continue to face high tariff and 
nontariff barriers abroad.
  Consider just one example, the market for agricultural products in 
Korea, which is the world's 13th largest economy. Korea's tariffs on 
imported agricultural goods average 54 percent compared to an average 
of 9 percent tariff on their imports into the United States. So passage 
of the Korea Free Trade Agreement will level this playing field. Think 
about that. Fifty-four percent for our exporters to get into the Korean 
market, 9 percent tariff for their exports coming here. That is a huge 
discrepancy that will be rectified by passage of this agreement.
  Korea's market for pork products in particular underscores how 
removing barriers to trade can benefit U.S. farmers and ranchers. U.S. 
pork exports to South Korea have increased 130 percent from January to 
July of this year because Korea temporarily lifted its 25 percent duty 
on pork imports due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Korea.
  During this period, the Korean market surpassed Canada to become the 
third largest export destination for U.S. pork producers after Japan 
and Mexico. Korea's tariff on pork imports is expected to return but 
would be permanently eliminated by 2016 under the terms of the United 
States and South Korea Free Trade Agreement.
  We know when we eliminate barriers to U.S. exports, American 
producers will compete and win in the global marketplace. However, if 
we fail to act and continue to delay implementation of these 
agreements, the cost to our

[[Page S6433]]

economy will also be substantial. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce study 
warns that failure to enact the three pending free-trade agreements 
could threaten as many as 380,000 American jobs and the loss of $40 
billion in sales. The cost of inaction on trade is high because today 
we live in a global economy where American producers rely on access to 
foreign markets.
  Consider that in 1960, exports accounted for only 3.6 percent of our 
entire GDP. Today exports account for 12.5 percent of our entire GDP. 
Exports of U.S. goods and services support over 10 million American 
jobs. When America stands still on trade, the rest of the world does 
not. Today there are more than 100 new free-trade agreements that are 
currently under negotiation around the world. Yet the United States is 
only party to one of those negotiations; that is, the Trans-Pacific 
  If we do not aggressively pursue new market-opening agreements on 
behalf of American workers, we will see new export opportunities go to 
foreign businesses and foreign workers. Unfortunately, that is exactly 
what we have experienced under the current administration. The three 
trade agreements we are considering today were signed over 4 years ago, 
and this administration had more than 2\1/2\ years to submit them to 
Congress for consideration but failed to do so.
  Instead, the President chose to sit on these agreements and not send 
them to Congress for nearly now 1,000 days. We cannot quantify 
precisely the cost of this unfortunate delay, but we know it put 
American exporters at a competitive disadvantage in the Colombian, 
Korean, and Panamanian markets. For example, on July 1 the European 
Union-Korea trade agreement went into effect. In just the first month 
after this agreement took effect, EU exports to Korea jumped nearly 37 
percent, while U.S. exports to Korea rose by only 3 percent.
  Let's be clear about what this means. Korean consumers are choosing 
to buy German, French, and British cars, electronics, and agricultural 
products rather than American-made products because those European 
products now have a price advantage. This would have been entirely 
preventable if we had acted on the U.S-Korea trade agreement sooner. 
Likewise, the Canada-Colombia agreement went into effect on August 15 
of this year. This is resulting in an advantage for Canadian goods such 
as construction equipment, aircraft, and a range of other industrial 
and agricultural products. Colombia is now reporting that since the 
Canada-Colombia trade agreement took effect, there has been an 18.3-
percent increase in Colombian imports of Canadian wheat.
  Much as with Korea, U.S. businesses are finding themselves 
disadvantaged because the President waited so long before sending these 
agreements to Congress. Unfortunately, the negative impact of the 
Canada-Colombia agreement on U.S. exporters is just a continuation of 
the lost export opportunities we have seen over the past few years as 
these trade agreements have lingered.
  Just a few years ago, American wheat producers dominated the market 
in Colombia with a 73-percent market share, as of 2008. Today we are 
facing a situation where U.S. wheat producers are likely to be 
completely shut out of the Colombian market if we do not act. 
Hopefully, by passing this agreement today and by swiftly implementing 
the U.S.-Colombia trade promotion agreement, our wheat producers will 
be able to recover much of their lost market share. But they should 
never have been placed in this position to begin with.
  In 2010, for the first time in the history of U.S.-Colombia trade, 
the U.S. lost to Argentina its position as Colombia's No. 1 
agricultural supplier. Now, consider the story of three of the major 
crops that we grow in South Dakota: soybeans, corn, and wheat. The 
combined market share in Colombia for these three U.S. agricultural 
exports has decreased from 78 percent in 2008 to 28 percent as of 2010, 
a staggering decline of 50 percentage points in our market share.
  U.S. corn sales to Colombia fell from 3 million metric tons in 2007 
to 700,000 metric tons in 2010. This is the high cost of delay while 
our trading partners pursue new regional and bilateral trade 
agreements. There has also been the cost of duties that have been paid 
on U.S. exports while these agreements are waiting. U.S. companies have 
paid more than $5 billion in tariffs to Colombia and Panama since the 
trade agreements with these nations were signed more than 4 years ago.
  Let's consider the cost of delay to just one American company, 
Caterpillar. We all know Caterpillar is a leading producer of large 
construction and mining equipment and a major U.S. exporter. 
Caterpillar exports 92 percent of its American-made large mining 
trucks. Caterpillar's large truck exports to Colombia face a 15-percent 
duty which adds about $300,000 to the cost of each of these trucks 
exported to Colombia.
  I mean, how does that work? Think about that. Every truck that 
Caterpillar sends into the Colombian market, it is an additional 
$300,000 on top of the cost of that piece of equipment for the tariff 
that has to be paid. Just imagine the advantage that Caterpillar could 
have had for the last several years over its Japanese and Chinese 
competitors if the House of Representatives--at the time was controlled 
by the Democrats back in 2008--had not refused to consider the Colombia 
agreement when President Bush submitted it or if the current 
administration had acted sooner, and that is just one example of 
countless others out there with American businesses.
  So I am glad we are here today. I expect all three trade agreements 
to pass with what I hope is broad bipartisan support. I hope we also 
have learned an important lesson. We cannot afford to delay when it 
comes to international competition in trade. I hope the White House has 
learned an important lesson as well rather than submitting to Congress 
divisive measures where there are fundamental disagreements, such as 
new tax increases. This administration should identify measures such as 
these trade bills that will spur our economy and where there is broad 
bipartisan agreement.
  The President sent his American Jobs Act to Congress exactly 1 month 
ago today. Yet we only, just last night, voted on whether we should 
consider this bill--a vote that did not get a single Republican vote, 
and it did not get every Democratic vote either. Contrast that approach 
with these free-trade agreements which were submitted to Congress by 
the President on October 3, just 9 days ago. Within about a week and a 
half, these trade agreements will have passed the relevant committees 
in the House and the Senate with large bipartisan votes and will be on 
the President's desk awaiting his signature.
  Clearly, reaching across the aisle on measures where both parties can 
find agreement is a much more effective approach. So I would urge my 
colleagues to support these job-creating trade bills based upon their 
merit. I would also urge my colleagues to support these bills to send a 
message that when this administration is willing to send us 
commonsense, progrowth legislation, we are ready and willing to pass 
  We can only hope our votes on these trade agreements will set that 
precedent. I look forward to voting for these long overdue agreements 
on behalf of American businesses and consumers. I look forward, 
hopefully, to being able to act on what are truly progrowth job 
measures in the coming weeks and months.
  We have an economy that continues to struggle with over 9 percent 
unemployment. Month after month we continue to see a lot of Americans 
who are without jobs, and this is one example of something we can do to 
address that concern. But there are lots of other things out there we 
can be doing as well if we are willing to identify those things on 
which there is agreement and those types of policies that actually do 
create jobs that are about getting Americans back to work and not about 
making some sort of a political statement.
  I hope this will set a pattern and a trend that will be replicated in 
the future and that we can do some things that are good for our 
American economy and for American jobs.
  Mr. ENZI. Madam President, I rise today to speak on final passage of 
the implementing language for the South Korea, Colombia and Panama free 
trade agreements. I support passing these three agreements. I supported 
them as they made the long and arduous journey from the negotiating 

[[Page S6434]]

through the Senate Finance Committee and now to the Senate floor. As 
has been stated by my colleagues, these agreements are far overdue. Our 
government and industries have long shared with Congress the positive 
job impact these trade deals would have on the American economy. In the 
case of both Korea and Colombia, other nations have not hesitated to 
adopt similar agreements and I just hope that inaction by the White 
House has not resulted in U.S. manufacturers and agricultural producers 
losing market share that can be difficult, if not impossible, to 
  I can say that Wyoming will benefit directly from these agreements. 
Disodium carbonate, also known as soda ash, is Wyoming's largest export 
to South Korea. This agreement would immediately remove, upon 
ratification, the 4 percent tariff on U.S. soda ash exports to that 
country. This will not only increase U.S. exports of soda ash to Korea 
by millions of dollars annually but will also increase job 
opportunities in and around Green River, WY where natural soda ash is 
  Wyoming's agricultural producers also stand to gain with the passage 
of these agreements. In the case of Korea, we know that a strong market 
for beef will be opened which will help Wyoming ranchers increase the 
value of their cattle heading to the sale barn. The standards in the 
Korea agreement will also set the stage for future negotiations in 
gaining market share for U.S. beef in other Asian markets. Consumer 
tastes are changing all over the world and our trading partners in Asia 
offer the largest potential market for American produced meat products. 
Colombia will do the same for Wyoming's wheat growers by reducing trade 
barriers and helping that country meet its growing demand for grain 
  I stand today in support of these important free trade agreements 
with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Not only are these nations our 
economic allies but strategic allies as well. These agreements solidify 
our relations with these countries and help promote U.S. job growth 
through our export markets. It is finally time Congress pass these 
agreements and fulfill the commitments we have made to our trading 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Madam President, I join with my good friend from South 
Dakota and the comments he made about the disadvantage we have created 
for ourselves in the last 3 years by not moving forward with these 
trade agreements long ago. But we are going to move forward today.
  Jump-starting America's economy is going to require bipartisanship. 
If we are going to compete in a global economy, it means we are all 
going to have to work together to help create economic opportunities 
for Americans who are looking for work, help to create those private 
sector jobs that are the difference in a prosperous economy and an 
economy that is struggling.
  Last night the motion to open debate on the President's so-called 
jobs bill was amended by his own party and was defeated then by a 
bipartisan vote in the Senate. That is not the kind of bipartisanship 
we need. We need bipartisanship moving forward not bipartisanship 
walking away.
  The bill was defeated because it does not make economic sense--as the 
President said in August of 2009--to raise taxes on job creators. In 
fact, the administration, by its own accounting, said roughly 80 
percent of the people who would be impacted by the surtax imposed by 
the bill that was set aside last night would be defined as businesses, 
the very businesses that need to create jobs in an economy where that 
should be the No. 1 priority.
  The President's first $800 billion stimulus plan failed to stimulate. 
It did not create the private sector jobs we needed and, simply, my 
view of the $450 billion we were talking about yesterday was that it 
was more of the same. But today is not more of the same. Today is a 
bipartisan opportunity to move forward with a bipartisan bill to help 
jump-start our economy.
  If there is low-hanging fruit in job creation, it is exporting 
products to markets that want to buy them. This is not about labor 
conditions in Colombia or whatever might happen in Korea or Panama. 
This is about products that American workers make and whether they can 
get into those markets.
  I would also say that for well over a decade now Colombian products 
have come into our country without a tariff under something called the 
Andean Free Trade Agreement. Well, so this can't be about Colombian 
labor. It must be about American labor and what we can do for American 
workers. We can open markets for American products, and that is what we 
are going to do today, I hope, as we move to agree to these trade 
  These trade agreements would mean an additional $2.5 billion per year 
in agricultural exports. Every billion dollars' worth of agricultural 
exports means an estimated 8,000 new jobs in Missouri. In Missouri, the 
trade-related jobs grew more than three times faster than other 
employment from 2004 to 2008.
  I recently asked Missourians on Facebook and Twitter to share some of 
their personal stories about how they thought these trade agreements 
would impact their lives. Glen Cope, a young full-time farmer from 
Aurora, MO, noted:

       Agriculture is not drawing young people to stay on the 
     farm. . . . because it is difficult to make land payments 
     based on what little we get for the products we produce--
     Versus the inputs--

     and this has been the case now for generations.

  Glen called on Congress to help farmers by creating ``more demand for 
our products if we are going to get young people to stay and take over 
the farm.''
  Their parents and grandparents have produced food for our country and 
for much of the world for a long time. Glen Cope's generation can 
continue to do the same.
  Chris Chinn, who runs a family farm in Clarence, MO, in northeast 
Missouri, told me if these trade deals pass, her family ``could receive 
almost $11 more for every hog they sell.'' Now, she noted, while $11 
may not sound like a lot, it sure seemed like a lot when they were 
losing $20 for every hog they sold from 2007 through 2010. That makes 
the difference in whether that family stays on the farm.
  Chris urged Congress to pass these agreements because ``this 
increased revenue will help us meet expenses and help us ensure our 
family farm will be there to pass on to my kids, who will be the sixth 
generation of farmers in our family.''
  Barbara Wilson noted that ``agriculture fuels the economy in our 
small town of Mexico, Missouri.'' She told me that the passage of these 
free-trade agreements would lead to an ``increased demand for our corn 
and our soybeans,'' and she stressed that ``when the agricultural 
economy is good, the economy in our small town benefits.'' That means 
increased jobs in all sectors of that small-town economy.
  Brian Hammons, president of Hammons Products Company in Stockton, MO, 
told me that ``significant government-mandated trade barriers are 
hurting'' his attempts to compete and develop markets for American 
black walnuts, which are harvested by hand in Missouri and other 
Midwestern States. Brian noted, if these trade deals passed, ``our 
company can buy more black walnuts from thousands of people in Missouri 
and 11 other States, providing cash to those rural areas. And even more 
importantly, the increased production activity from processing those 
nuts would allow us to provide more employment for people in our rural 
Missouri community.''
  These are just a few of the farmers and job creators in Missouri who 
are calling on Congress to pass these free-trade agreements.
  I look forward to voting for these agreements tonight. I hope a huge 
majority of my colleagues will join me in voting for the South Korea 
agreement, the Panama agreement, and the Colombia agreement. We will 
send a message to the world that we intend to compete in a world 
economy. If we are given the chance to compete, American workers can 
compete with anybody. These trade agreements provide an opportunity to 
do that.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss the three 
pending trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
  Let me say at the outset that I am in favor of free trade, if that 
term is allowed its true meaning. I have great confidence in the 
American worker and American businesses to compete and succeed in the 
global marketplace if given a free and level playing field. For 
generations, our country has shown

[[Page S6435]]

that hard work and ingenuity are the engines of progress and economic 
prosperity. The innovations that have shaped our 21st century economy 
were, in great measure, conceived and produced here in the United 
States. And in return for allowing other countries to benefit from our 
hard work and innovation, America was rewarded with a strong middle 
  Unfortunately, however, in a post-NAFTA world, being the best is no 
longer good enough. Instead, we have engaged in a race to the bottom, 
where to succeed you have to be the cheapest. And so, through our trade 
policy, we have too often put our workers at a real disadvantage.
  Indeed, since 1994, when NAFTA went into effect, manufacturing sector 
employment across the country has fallen by over 5 million jobs, 
including over 42,000 in my State of Rhode Island. Contributing to 
these staggering losses are our trade agreements with Mexico, Central 
American and Caribbean countries, as well as the entry of China into 
the WTO.
  That is why I cannot support the three trade agreements that are 
before the Senate today.
  The Korea Free Trade Agreement is especially troubling for Rhode 
Island, particularly with respect to its treatment of textiles. 
According to the U.S. International Trade Commission's report, the 
textile industry is expected to lose jobs because of the favorable 
tariff reductions Korean manufacturers would receive under the 
  Rhode Island has a long history in textiles. In fact, the modern 
textile industry in this country can be traced back to Slater Mill in 
Pawtucket, RI, in 1793. Textiles were an important part of the State's 
economy throughout the Industrial Revolution and into the 20th century. 
But many of the business owners I have been talking to have told me how 
hard it has been for them, shrinking, laying off workers, and watching 
as factory after factory closed their doors around them.
  I am working with what's left of the textile industry in Rhode 
Island--a small group of companies that are making really great 
products. Darlington Fabrics in Westerly, for example, makes 
performance athletic-wear, including products for our military. Coated 
Technical Solutions, based in Newport, works with coated fabrics for 
things like inflatable boats and tarpaulins. Northeast Knitting makes 
specialized medical fabrics, and Hope Global exports shoelaces.
  I have heard from some textile companies that their sole competition 
comes from manufacturers in South Korea. These foreign competitors will 
disproportionately benefit from the tariff reductions in the Korea FTA. 
This is just another in a long line of examples of how our trade policy 
has failed American manufacturers.
  With respect to the Colombia agreement, Colombia has a history of 
violence toward trade unionists, with 51 labor members murdered last 
year alone. Although the Obama administration negotiated a labor action 
plan with the Colombian government, there are no guarantees that its 
provisions will be enforced, and in fact, indications are that the 
violence has continued.
  In short, I see no reason why we should put American jobs at risk to 
benefit a country that cannot provide its citizens the most basic 
rights that we offer to ours. The Colombia free trade agreement is a 
bad deal for Americans, and it may be a worse deal for Colombians.
  Panama has its own labor abuses, but its status as a tax haven is 
perhaps most troubling. Approximately 400,000 multinational 
corporations are registered in Panama, many of which have license to 
conduct business without reporting or paying taxes. While the Obama 
administration stepped in and negotiated a tax information exchange 
agreement, this agreement lacks the transparency required to assure 
  The benefits of a trade agreement with Panama barely register by any 
economic measure. I believe it would be a mistake to encourage trade 
with a country that offers little to the United States but that so 
brazenly facilitates the breaking of our tax laws.
  I will object to these agreements until we make a wholesale revision 
of our trade policy and put enforcement at the forefront. Representing 
a State that may have suffered the most from unfair Chinese 
competition, I can't support more of these agreements until I see 
serious and sincere enforcement. We should refrain from passing further 
free trade agreements until we can ensure that American workers and 
businesses are protected.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Whitehouse). The Senator from Vermont is 
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, I always enjoy the Senator's remarks. 
However, I cannot quite agree with the thrust of his statement.
  In my view, the current trade policies in this country are a 
disaster. The evidence is very clear that they have cost us many 
millions of jobs and to continue that same unfettered free-trade 
philosophy, in terms of trade agreements with Korea, Panama and 
Colombia, makes absolutely no sense at all. When we have a policy that 
is failing, we change it; we don't continue it.
  Let us be very clear. I think most Americans understand that our 
economy today is in disastrous shape. Our middle class is disappearing. 
Recent statistics have told us poverty levels are at an alltime high, 
and the gap between the very rich and everybody else is growing wider.
  In my view, one of the reasons--not the only reason--for the collapse 
of the middle class has to do with the loss of millions of good 
manufacturing jobs, attributable to these disastrous trade policies. If 
we are serious as a nation in wanting to rebuild the middle class, 
lower our poverty rate, what we have to do is move forward in a new 
direction in trade, based on fair trade principles, and end this 
unfettered free trade, which has been such a disaster for American 
  Over the last decade, we as a nation have lost 50,000 manufacturing 
plants in our country. I will repeat that because that is such a 
staggering number that it needs to be said over and over. Fifty 
thousand manufacturing plants in this country have shut down over the 
last 10 years alone. We have lost, during that same period, 5.5 million 
factory jobs. Many of those jobs were good-paying jobs. They were jobs 
that provided people with good wages and good benefits. Those jobs are 
gone and, in many cases, have been replaced by Walmart and McDonald's-
type jobs, with low wages and minimal benefits.
  To give us a sense about how significant the decline of manufacturing 
in this country is, the reality is, in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in 
the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, that number is just 9 
percent. In July of 2000, there were 17.3 million manufacturing workers 
in this country. Today, there are only 11 million manufacturing 
workers. In my small State of Vermont--which is not as big as Ohio or 
Michigan and has never been one of the great manufacturing centers in 
the country, but even in a small State such as Vermont, what we have 
seen is a huge decline in good-paying manufacturing jobs, which have 
certainly impacted our middle class.
  Mr. President, 10 years ago, we had approximately 45,000 
manufacturing jobs in Vermont. Last year, we had 31,000 manufacturing 
jobs in Vermont. We have lost about one-third of our manufacturing 
jobs. I should tell everyone that 7,800 of those jobs were lost as a 
result of the trade agreement with China and another 1,300 were lost as 
a result of NAFTA.
  The key issue is whether we continue our disastrous trade policy, 
which includes NAFTA, permanent normal trade relations with China, and 
CAFTA. Do we add on to trade policies that have failed? For the love of 
me, I cannot understand why anybody would want to do that.
  The facts are very clear: Our current trade policies have failed, 
have been a disaster for working families. According to a recent study 
conducted by well-respected economists at the Economic Policy 
Institute, permanent normal trade relations with China led to the loss 
of 2.8 million American jobs--2.8 million American jobs. I remember 
because I was in the House when that debate took place. I heard the 
same thing then as I hear now--Members of Congress getting up and 
talking about all the new jobs that were going to be created. It wasn't 
true then and it is not true now.
  How could we defend a trade policy based on the same principles as 

[[Page S6436]]

with China when that policy cost us 2.8 million jobs in the last year 
  Then we have NAFTA. Many of us remember the rhetoric around NAFTA. My 
goodness, we were going to open the entire Mexican economy for products 
made in the United States of America. We were going to be selling it in 
Mexico. Does anybody in America believe that policy has worked--that 
NAFTA has worked? The facts are very clear. Again, according to the 
EPI, they found that NAFTA has led to the loss of 680,000 jobs. So the 
simple reality is--and one doesn't have to be a Ph.D. in economics to 
figure this out--that if a company has the option of hiring somebody in 
a low-wage country at 50 cents or 70 cents an hour and they don't have 
to deal with unions or with environmental standards, why would they not 
go to those countries? The answer is they would go. The answer is they 
have gone.
  That is what these trade policies are about--not selling American-
produced products abroad but creating a situation where companies can 
shut down in America, move factories abroad, and bring those products 
back into this country tariff free.

  We have quote after quote after quote from Members of Congress who 
got up on the floor during the NAFTA debate, during the China debate, 
and told us about all the jobs that would be created. I keep hearing 
that rhetoric, when, in fact, nothing said in the past has proven to be 
  Let me quote my good friends--and they are not good friends--from the 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They tell us this, and this is the discussion 
about Korea, Panama, and Colombia:

       This is foremost a debate about jobs. At a time when 
     millions of Americans are out of work, these agreements will 
     create real business opportunities that can generate hundreds 
     of thousands of new jobs.

  But wait a second. Is this the same Chamber of Commerce that, on July 
1, 2004, according to the Associated Press, said this--this is the 
headline: ``Chamber of Commerce leader advocates offshoring of jobs.''
  Here is what the article stated about the Chamber of Commerce, a 
strong advocate for these trade policies:

       U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donahue 
     urged American companies to send jobs overseas as a way to 
     boost American competitiveness. . . . Donahue said that 
     exporting high-paid tech jobs to low-cost countries such as 
     India, China and Russia saves companies money. . . .

  Let's see, the Chamber of Commerce is leading the effort for these 
trade agreements, but they tell us the outsourcing of jobs is a good 
thing. Maybe we want to think twice before we accept the advice of the 
Chamber of Commerce.
  The U.S. Department of Commerce has reported--and this is very 
interesting, not only as information unto itself but about the politics 
of this whole trade agreement. We have the Chamber of Commerce and we 
have every major multinational corporation in the country telling us 
how good this unfettered free trade policy is. But now we have the U.S. 
Department of Commerce reporting that over the last decade, U.S. 
multinational corporations slashed 2.9 million American jobs.
  Let's digest that. Large corporations and multinationals come in here 
and say the trade agreements are great and will create American jobs. 
At the same time, over the last decade, they have slashed 2.9 million 
American jobs.
  Here is the other side of the story. The truth is, these same 
multinational corporations that are telling Members of Congress to vote 
for these trade agreements--the truth is, they are creating jobs. The 
only problem is, the jobs they are creating are not in the United 
States of America; they are in China and other low-wage countries.
  Over this last same period, the last decade, while they laid off 2.9 
million American workers, these same multinational corporations created 
2.4 million new jobs abroad. So they laid off 2.9 million American 
workers and created 2.4 million jobs in China and other low-wage 
  That, in a nutshell, is what these trade agreements are about--
enabling corporations to shut down in America, move to low-wage 
countries, and bring their products back into our country. The results 
are very clear. We don't need a great study done by the Department of 
Commerce or the Economic Policy Institute; all we have to do is walk 
into any department store in America. When we buy a product, we know 
where that product is manufactured. It is not manufactured in Vermont, 
it is not manufactured in California, and it is often manufactured in 
China, Mexico or other developing countries.
  That has been the whole goal of these trade agreements--shut down 
plants in America, move them abroad, hire low-wage workers there, and 
bring the products back into this country. The idea that we would be 
extending this concept to Korea, Panama, and Colombia makes no sense to 
me at all.
  Since the year 2000, 2.8 million American jobs have been eliminated 
or displaced as a result of the increased trade deficit with China. 
After all the talk on the floor of the Senate and the floor of the 
House, at the editorial boards of major newspapers and by leading 
politicians about how the China Free Trade Agreement would create jobs 
in America, it is very interesting to hear what these corporations had 
to say a few years after the trade agreement was passed. In other 
words, before it is passed, they will tell us about how we are going to 
create all these jobs in America. The day after it is passed, their 
line changes. The China Free Trade Agreement was passed in the year 
2000. A couple years later, Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General 
Electric, was quoted on this subject at an investor meeting, just one 
year after China was admitted to the World Trade Organization. This is 
after the Chinese-American free-trade agreement. This is what Mr. 
Immelt said:

       When I am talking to GE managers, I talk China, China, 
     China, China, China.

  That is him, not me--five Chinas.

       You need to be there. You need to change the way people 
     talk about it and how they get there. I am a nut on China. 
     Outsourcing from China is going to grow to $5 billion. We are 
     building a tech center in China. Every discussion today has 
     to center on China. The cost basis is extremely attractive. 
     You can take an 18 cubic foot refrigerator, make it in China, 
     land it in the United States, and land it for less than we 
     can make an 18 cubic foot refrigerator today, ourselves.

  This is the head of General Electric, who, by the way, I guess is 
President Obama's great adviser on creating jobs in America. So that 
was 2 years after the China agreement was signed.
  And on and on it goes. It is not just Mr. Immelt, it is major 
corporation after major corporation. Before the agreement, it is jobs 
were doing great in America. After the agreement, it is all of the 
advantages of outsourcing.
  Let me tell you how bad the situation is. By the way, I think most 
Americans know that not only is it a disaster for our economy that we 
are not producing the products we consume, but it is really an 
embarrassment. I will cite an example. Last year, during the holiday 
season, I walked into the Smithsonian's very beautiful American History 
Museum. It is a great museum, and I urge everybody who comes to 
Washington to visit. I walked into the gift shop of the Smithsonian 
museum, owned by the people of America, paid for by the people of 
America, and do you know what their gift shop had? Most of the products 
in the gift shop were not made in America. It turns out they were made 
in China or made in other low-wage countries around the world. I went 
to a section where they had little busts of Presidents of the United 
States--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Barack Obama--and when you 
turned them over, do you know where these busts of Presidents of the 
United States were made? Yes, you guessed it--in China.
  We have since been having some discussions with the Smithsonian. They 
are in the process of changing their policies. And we are working with 
other people as well. But that is how bad the situation is, that busts 
of American Presidents, sold in a museum owned by the people of the 
United States of America, talking about the history and culture of 
America, are made in China. That is just one example of how pathetic 
this whole situation is. And on and on it goes.
  By the way, when we talk about trade, we often focus on blue-collar 
jobs and manufacturing jobs, but it is also increasingly information 
technology jobs and white-collar jobs. Just think for a moment that 
during the past 4 years the cumulative trade deficit with China in 
advanced technology--not talking about sneakers but advanced technology 
products--totaled more than $300 billion. Last year,

[[Page S6437]]

our trade deficit with China on advanced technology products was a 
staggering $92 billion--in 1 year alone.
  I just bought one of these very nice iPhones. It is very nice. Do you 
know where that product is made? It is made in China. And the iPad is 
made in China, and the iPod and the Blackberry and IBM computers and 
Dell computers and the Microsoft X-Box and big-screen TVs. None of 
these American inventions we pride ourselves on inventing, none of the 
technologies we pride ourselves on developing--and Steve Jobs recently 
passed away, a great businessperson--none of these are made here. Where 
are they made? More often than not, they are made in China.
  Let me quote from a December 15, 2010, article in the Wall Street 

       One widely touted solution for current U.S. economic woes 
     is for America to come up with more of the high-tech gadgets 
     the rest of the world craves. Yet two academic researchers 
     estimate that Apple's iPhone--one of the best selling U.S. 
     technology products--actually added $1.9 billion to the U.S. 
     trade deficit with China last year.

  So we develop these products, but we can't manufacture them here 
because these companies prefer the low wages in China. And on and on it 
goes--not just blue-collar jobs but white collar jobs as well.
  Today, we are not talking about China and we are not talking about 
Mexico. We are talking about Korea and Panama, and we are talking about 
Colombia, but it is the same old story. The chamber of commerce is back 
again suggesting the creation of all of these jobs, until the day after 
the agreement is signed, and then they will be talking about how they 
can throw American workers out on the street.
  It is interesting that poll after poll shows that, to say the least, 
the American people do not have an enormous amount of respect for the 
U.S. Congress and they see Congress as living in a very different world 
than working-class people are living in.
  I don't know of any example where that schizophrenia is greater than 
in terms of trade. I don't know what it is like in Rhode Island, but I 
will tell you what it is like in Vermont when you ask people what they 
think about these trade agreements with China. When you ask 
constituents if they think they are creating jobs in America, they 
reply: What, are you nuts? Of course they are not. And the polls tell 
us that. In a September 2010 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 69 
percent of Americans said they believe ``free trade between the United 
States and other countries cost the U.S. jobs.'' I think every group in 
America except the Congress seems to get that point. But then again, 
the Congress is surrounded by lobbyists and campaign contributors who 
come from big-money interests, and they like these unfettered free-
trade agreements.
  Let me say a word or two about Korea. The Economic Policy Institute 
has estimated that the Korea free-trade agreement will lead to the loss 
of 159,000 American jobs and will increase the trade deficit by nearly 
$14 billion over a 7-year period. Why would we want to go forward in a 
trade agreement that will cost us jobs?
  President Obama has estimated that the Korea Free Trade Agreement 
will ``support at least 70,000 American jobs.'' But the headline of a 
December 7, 2010, article in the New York Times says it all: ``Few New 
Jobs Expected Soon From Free-Trade Agreement with South Korea.'' 
According to this article, the Korea Free Trade Agreement ``is likely 
to result in little if any net job creation in the short run, according 
to the government's own analysis''--our government's own analysis. That 
analysis was done by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which 
projects our overall trade deficit will increase, not decrease, if the 
Korea Free Trade Agreement is implemented. This is our own 
International Trade Commission. So what are we doing? What are we 
  Let me touch on one aspect of the Korea Free Trade Agreement that 
deserves a lot of focus, and I fear very much it is not getting it; 
that is, the Korea Free Trade Agreement will force American workers not 
just to compete against low-wage workers in South Korea but also to 
compete against the virtual slave labor conditions that exist in North 
Korea, a country which is certainly one of the most undemocratic 
countries in the world. To add insult to injury, not only are our 
workers going to be competing against slave labor in North Korea, some 
of the proceeds from this free-trade agreement are going to the 
dictatorship of Kim Jong Il, certainly one of the more vicious 
dictators in the entire world.
  What that is about is that a number of companies in South Korea, 
including Hyundai and many others, own companies that are doing 
business in a large industrial area in North Korea. This agreement will 
allow products made in North Korea to go to South Korea and then come 
back into the United States.
  I know there has been a little confusion on this, but there shouldn't 
be. Let me quote from a January 2011 report from the Congressional 
Research Service, and I hope everybody who plans on voting for this 
free-trade agreement with Korea hears this:

       There is nothing to prevent South Korean firms from 
     performing intermediate manufacturing operations in North 
     Korea, and then performing final manufacturing processes in 
     South Korea.

  For example, as much as 65 percent of the value of a South Korean car 
coming into the United States could actually be made in North Korea if 
this trade agreement goes into effect.
  Today, we have almost 47,000 North Korean workers currently employed 
by more than 120 South Korean firms, including Hyundai, at the Kaesong 
Industrial Complex in North Korea. What an agreement. What an 
agreement. Slave labor in North Korea manufacturing products that go to 
South Korea and then come into the United States of America. Meanwhile, 
the dictatorship of North Korea gets a significant piece of the action 
on top of the pennies an hour the North Korean workers get.
  In 2007, Han Duck-soo, who was then the Prime Minister of South Korea 
and is now the current South Korean Ambassador to the United States, 

       The planned ratification of the South Korea-U.S. Free Trade 
     Agreement will pave the way for the export of products built 
     in Kaesong [North Korea] to the U.S. market.

  Isn't that wonderful. Isn't that wonderful. Bad enough for workers in 
our country to have to compete against people in China and in Vietnam--
people making 20 cents, 30 cents, or 40 cents an hour--but now we are 
asked to compete against slave labor in Korea. And that is the treaty 
people will be voting for today.
  Mr. President, I think a lot of folks have mentioned, in terms of 
Colombia, the assault on trade unionists there. Since 1986, some 2,800 
trade unionists have been assassinated. Less than 6 percent of these 
murders have been prosecuted by the Colombian Government. Last year 
alone--last year alone, in a small country--more than 50 trade 
unionists were assassinated in Colombia. That is up 9 percent from 
2009. I ask, if in Colombia 50 CEOs of companies were killed last year, 
were murdered last year, do you think people here would be voting for a 
free-trade agreement with Colombia or would they say: Why would we want 
an agreement with a country that is so unlawful, that is so brutal, 
where so many CEOs are being killed? But it is not CEOs, it is just 
trade union leaders, so I guess it is OK to have an agreement there.
  I would also say that President Obama had a different view on 
Colombia when he was a candidate for President in 2008. In October of 
2008, candidate Barack Obama said:

       The history in Colombia right now is that labor leaders 
     have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent 
     basis and there have not been prosecutions.

  Candidate Obama in 2008 was right in opposing this trade agreement. 
Unfortunately, as President, he is wrong to support it right now.
  Let me say a word about the Panama Free Trade Agreement.
  Panama is a very small country. Its entire annual economic output is 
only $26.7 billion a year or about two-tenths of 1 percent of the 
American economy. So I think no one is going to legitimately stand here 
and say that trading with such a small country is going to 
significantly increase American jobs. Then why would we be considering 
a trade agreement with Panama? What is going on there? Well, it turns 
out Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy 
Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their 
cash in offshore tax havens. And the Panama Free Trade Agreement would 
make this bad situation much worse.

[[Page S6438]]

  I am a member of the Budget Committee, as is the Presiding Officer, 
and we have heard testimony time and time again that our country is 
losing up to $100 billion every year as corporations stash their money 
in postal addresses in the Cayman Islands, in Bermuda, and in Panama. 
This trade agreement makes that situation even worse.
  According to Citizens for Tax Justice:

       A tax haven . . . has one of three characteristics: It has 
     no income tax or a very low-rate income tax; it has bank 
     secrecy laws; and it has a history of noncooperation with 
     other countries on exchanging information about tax matters. 
     Panama has all three of those. . . . They're probably the 

  That is according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
  The trade agreement with Panama would effectively bar the United 
States from cracking down on illegal and abusive offshore tax havens in 
Panama. In fact, combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a 
violation of this free-trade agreement, exposing the United States to 
fines from international authorities.
  At a time when we have a 14-trillion-plus national debt and at a time 
when we are frantically figuring out ways to try to lower our deficit, 
some of us believe it is a good idea to do away with all of these tax 
havens by which the wealthy and large corporations stash their money 
abroad and avoid paying U.S. taxes. The Panama trade agreement would 
make that goal even more difficult.
  I want to say another word on an issue that I think is important as 
we look into the future. The proposed Korea Free Trade Agreement 
threatens both the 340B drug program, which requires drug companies to 
provide discounts on covered outpatient drugs purchased by federally 
funded health providers, such as community health centers and other 
safety net providers, and the ability of Medicare Part B to hold down 
the prices of outpatient drugs. The Korea Free Trade Agreement would 
potentially allow Korean drug manufacturers to challenge the pricing 
under these programs on the grounds that the prices are not market 
driven--in other words, forcing prices up in this country. That is 
something that was pushed, by the way, by our trade representative, not 
theirs. In essence, the pharmaceutical industry's lobbyists, with 
complete indifference to the plight of millions of the most frail and 
vulnerable Americans, have succeeded in inserting provisions into the 
Korea Trade Agreement that would allow Korean companies to maximize 
their profits by challenging the cost control measures under the 340B 
and Medicare Part B programs.
  But, unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Right now, 
the pharmaceutical lobby--and they are a very powerful lobby--and the 
U.S. Trade Representative are negotiating a new trade agreement, the 
so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership, that I fear very much will make a 
bad situation in terms of drug access for the developing world, for 
poor people all over the world, much worse than it already is. Their 
aim, yet again, is to maximize drug company profits at the expense of 
the most vulnerable populations by tying the hands of health 
authorities here and in other developed and developing countries abroad 
who seek to provide access to low-cost generic pharmaceutical drugs for 
their citizens.
  In negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, our government is 
actively pushing intellectual profit laws for medicines that are more 
restrictive than we impose even here in the United States, with the 
effect of making it far more difficult to get generic drugs on the 
market in those countries. One of them, Vietnam, is a good example. 
Vietnam obviously is a very poor country. Vietnam has received more 
than $320 million from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, 
PEPFAR, created under President George W. Bush and continued under 
President Obama since 2004. The function of this program is to make 
sure the poorest people in the world who have diseases such as AIDS are 
able to get the drugs they need at a price they can afford to pay, and 
that means making generic treatments available.
  The PEPFAR program has actually had significant success. As somebody 
who is not a great fan of President George W. Bush, this is an area 
where he actually did something quite positive, and that program is 
credited with saving millions of lives in 15 developing nations over 
the last 7 years. In the face of one of the most severe humanitarian 
crises in modern history, the United States put billions of dollars 
into doing something about it, and we are doing that today.
  So why, in the face of this success by one arm of our government, 
would another arm work to pull the rug out from underneath it? Yet that 
is what the U.S. Trade Representative's Office is doing now.
  In other words, on the one hand what we are trying to do is the right 
thing, the humanitarian thing, to make sure that poor and sick people 
around the world are able to get the medicines they desperately need to 
stay alive at a price they can afford to pay; and, on the other hand, 
another part of the U.S. Government is saying, wait a second. We have 
got to protect the interests of the drug companies and make sure they 
can make as much money as possible so they can charge and force poor 
countries to pay outrageously high prices for drugs even if that means 
many people die because they can't afford those drugs. So this is a 
contradiction. This is what our new trade policies are about.
  I will be back on the floor at some point in the not too distant 
future to be talking about this very important issue, but let me 
conclude by saying this country is in the midst of the worst economic 
crisis since the 1930s; the middle class is disappearing; poverty is 
increasing; millions of Americans have seen a decline in their standard 
of living; the gap between the very rich and everybody else is growing 
wider. That is the reality of the American economy today.
  One of the reasons for the collapse of the middle class is the loss 
of millions and millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs, and one of 
the key reasons--not the only reason but one of the key reasons--we are 
losing millions of manufacturing jobs is disastrous trade policies 
designed to allow American corporations to shut down here, move to low-
wage countries, hire people there for pennies an hour, and bring their 
products back. That is a policy I suppose you could say has worked if 
you are the CEO of a large corporation. You make a lot more money 
paying people 50 cents an hour than $20 an hour. You make a lot more 
money working in a country where there are no environmental standards 
rather than in a country where you have to have some standards 
protecting air and water.
  That is what our trade policy has been, and it seems to me to be 
enormously foolish for us to continue this failed policy of NAFTA, of 
CAFTA, of permanent normal trade relations with China, and extend them 
to Korea, Panama, and Colombia. I urge my colleagues to stand up to the 
big money interests which want us to pass these trade agreements, stand 
up for American workers, and say: No. Trade is a good thing, but it has 
to be based on principles that protect ordinary Americans, working 
people, not just the CEOs of large corporations.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I rise today in the wake of another very 
sobering jobs report. Unemployment remains stalled at 9.1 percent; 14 
million Americans are out of work; another 9 million have been forced 
into part-time jobs because they simply cannot find full-time 
employment. These challenging economic times demand that Congress and 
the administration put aside partisanship and work together in earnest 
to address the prolonged jobs crisis.
  Many of the decisions that will come before Congress in the next few 
months will be difficult ones, including those that must be made to 
restore fiscal order to our Nation's books. But there are bipartisan 
measures that we know will create and preserve jobs now. We must work 
together to advance them.
  One such measure before us today is the free-trade agreement with 
South Korea. As President Obama stated last week, this agreement ``will 
make it easier for American companies to sell their products in South 
Korea and provide a major boost to our exports.''

[[Page S6439]]

  South Korea is our country's seventh largest trading partner. The 
U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that implementation of 
this agreement would increase our gross domestic product by $10 billion 
to $12 billion, and annual merchandise exports by $10 billion. The ITC 
further estimates that the agreement will reduce the U.S. trade deficit 
with Korea by between $3 billion and $4 billion.
  An analysis of the Korean agreement conducted by the staff of the ITC 
at the request of the Senate Finance Committee concludes that the 
agreement could create up to 280,000 American jobs, including more than 
650 jobs in my home State of Maine. Just this week there were 
announcements of 130 jobs lost at a paper mill in Maine and 65 jobs 
eliminated at a call center. So these new jobs, potentially 650 new 
jobs, would be welcome indeed.
  South Korea is the fifth largest international market for Maine's 
products. Last year, the value of Maine exports to South Korea reached 
nearly $100 million, including $31 million in chemical products, $29 
million in wood pulp, $15 million in civilian aircraft and engine 
parts, $7 million in electrical machinery, and $5 million in coated 
paper and paperboard.
  Upon implementation of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, more than 
95 percent of Maine's exports to South Korea would be duty free. Let me 
repeat that. More than 95 percent of our exports from Maine to South 
Korea would be duty free. That means the elimination of these barriers 
to Maine's exports would expand markets for Maine's manufacturers and 
agricultural producers, and that translates into saving jobs and 
creating jobs.
  Korea is the fourth largest and fastest growing market for American 
frozen potatoes, a major industry in my State. In 2009, the U.S. share 
of the Korean market was 81 percent, compared to 2 percent market share 
for the European Union. But with the implementation of the European 
Union-Korea Trade Agreement this past July, the European Union frozen 
potatoes now enter the Korean market duty free. That obviously gives 
European Union growers a significant competitive advantage over 
American exporters, who face an 18-percent tariff for shipping their 
products into Korea. The U.S.-Korea agreement would eliminate this 
tariff immediately, leveling the playing field for our producers.
  According to the Maine Potato Board, which has endorsed this 
agreement, passage of this free-trade agreement is expected to 
translate into a $35 million annual increase in U.S. frozen potatoes 
exports to Korea. More important, in the long term it will allow 
American potatoes to be the product of choice in the Korean market 
because, as the Presiding Officer well knows, Maine potatoes taste 
better than those grown by the European Union countries.
  In all seriousness, we do need to eliminate these discrepancies in 
tariffs that give our competitors an advantage over our American 
producers. Exports are essential to a strong industrial manufacturing 
base throughout our country and in the State of Maine.
  I want to read an excerpt from a letter I recently received from the 
plant manager of the General Electric Energy Plant in Bangor, ME. The 
plant manager had this to say about the potential impact if this free-
trade agreement were approved:
  He wrote as follows:

       GE's continuing ability to pursue expanding international 
     opportunities for our aviation, energy and financial services 
     exports is critical to our more than 700 workers in the State 
     of Maine. In fact, 100 percent of the new steam turbine units 
     coming out of our Bangor facility this year and next will be 

  That just shows how critical that export market is to maintaining 
those 700 jobs in Maine.

       The Bangor plant has, in addition, recently started 
     producing components for gas turbines. To this end, we have 
     invested roughly $30 million in Bangor, to expand capacity. 
     These gas turbines [under current law] face tariffs of 8 
     percent in Korea. . . .

  If the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement is passed, the GE plant 
manager in Bangor told me the tariff on the gas turbines produced at 
the Bangor plant would drop from 8 percent to 0, and that obviously 
would make those GE products and GE's employees in Maine all that much 
more competitive.
  For Maine's wood pulp producers, Korea is already the second largest 
international market they have. Exports to Korea account for nearly 17 
percent of the total production coming out of the pulp mill in 
Woodland, ME. In an e-mail to my office, Burt Martin, a director of the 
pulp mill in Washington County, had this to say about the importance of 
the Korean market to his business operation in Maine. He wrote:

       Free trade with Asian countries means that we have an 
     operating pulp facility in Woodland, ME. . . . Koreans are 
     good paying customers--high revenue--and they are an 
     important part of our markets.

  Maine's blueberry growers also will benefit from the phaseout of 
tariffs on wild blueberry products. While I would have preferred to see 
the tariffs on blueberries eliminated immediately, the way they are on 
many other products I mentioned, the tariff reductions that would come 
about as a result of this agreement will help our blueberry growers 
compete in an increasingly important market.
  An agreement will also unlock new market opportunities for Maine's 
iconic lobster industry. Live lobster exports to Korea currently face a 
20-percent tariff. Under the agreement, this tariff would be phased out 
over 5 years, making it far easier for Maine to compete in the 
marketplace in Korea.
  Fairchild Semiconductor in Portland, ME, is another strong supporter 
of this agreement. The manager of Fairchild cites the benefits of 
``tariff elimination, regulatory improvement, stronger intellectual 
property protection and simplified trade clearance procedures, measures 
that help streamline customs procedures and help U.S. companies cut 
down on the costs of doing business'' as advantages that would be 
brought about by this agreement.
  The bottom line is, exports to Korea support Maine jobs. Passage of 
this agreement is critical to ensuring not only that we can expand 
export opportunities, but also that we do not lose market share in one 
of the world's largest economies because our foreign competitors are 
more aggressive in their pursuit of trade liberalization agreements.
  On balance, I believe the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement is good for 
America and good for the State of Maine, and I will vote for it. I am 
convinced the elimination of tariffs will create jobs and help us save 
jobs at this critical time in our economy.
  I also plan to vote for the agreement with Panama, a country with 
which the United States had a $5.7 billion trade surplus last year. But 
I cannot support the free-trade agreement with Colombia. This was a 
difficult decision for me to reach, and I have given it considerable 
study and thought. But, unfortunately, the violence against labor 
unions continues at an unacceptably high rate in that country.
  I do appreciate and recognize that the Colombian Government has taken 
steps to improve in this area, but I think it is simply too soon to 
declare the Labor Action Plan a success. I think more time is needed to 
assess progress in this area, and I wish the President had brought 
forth the two agreements I can support--those with South Korea and 
Panama--and held back on the Colombian agreement until we have a better 
sense of the direction of the country and where we are going in making 
progress with the Labor Action Plan.
  The benefits of free trade are not spread evenly over all sectors. 
With any trade agreement there is a potential that some U.S. workers 
and industries may be harmed. That is why I have looked at each 
agreement individually over the years. I have supported some, and I 
have opposed others. Frankly, the criteria I apply is whether the 
agreements benefit the people of my State and the workers of this 
country. It is also why I have been such a strong supporter of a robust 
trade adjustment assistance program, and I have also strongly supported 
tough enforcement of trade laws to protect U.S. workers against unfair 
trade practices. I have testified before the ITC in cases involving the 
paper industry where there has been illegal dumping. I have also been a 
cosponsor of the bill we just passed yesterday to crack down on 
currency manipulation by the Chinese Government.
  But if the United States does not adopt policies to expand trade 
opportunities in a fair way, we will lose out on market opportunities, 
and that means

[[Page S6440]]

we will lose out on the creation of jobs. The jobs that would be 
created or sustained at home will, instead, be created and sustained in 
other countries that are aggressively pursuing trade agreements.
  With nearly 95 percent of the world's customers living outside of our 
borders, we simply must seize opportunities to expand our exports, to 
look for new markets for our products. Our competitors in Europe, 
Canada, and other nations are actively working to tear down barriers to 
trade and promote their exports. We must do the same for our industries 
and for our workers.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I rise today to speak about one of the 
greatest job-creation measures this body has considered in a long time.
  The three long-awaited trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and 
Colombia that the Senate will soon receive will create more real, long-
term jobs than any stimulus approach advocated by the President.
  While many of us are concerned about the role of government in job 
creation--an issue that will continue to be debated by this body--we 
can all agree that it is imperative to create a fair and efficient 
platform on which businesses can grow. The trade agreements before us 
will do just that.
  Some economists believe that we are doing perpetual harm to our 
manufacturing, agricultural and export sectors by not passing these 
agreements. For instance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has previously 
calculated that delaying the passage of the Colombia Free Trade 
Agreement alone may have resulted in the direct loss of more than 
20,000 jobs in the United States.
  Our trading partners have looked elsewhere for goods and services to 
power their growing economies. When Canada and Colombia completed their 
trade agreement in August, within 15 days there was an 18-percent 
increase in wheat exports from Canada to Colombia.
  The U.S. Trade Representative completed negotiations in 2006 with 
Colombia for the agreement we will soon have before us. Nearly 5 years 
of delays on this agreement alone have caused us irreparable damage.
  While America was once the envy of the world for our trade 
agreements, we are now losing ground.
  According to some estimates, the South Korean Free Trade Agreement 
has the potential to create 280,000 jobs in America alone. South Korea 
once called the United States its largest trading partner. We have 
since lost that distinction to China.
  We are not simply creating jobs by passing these agreements, we are 
invigorating America's economy.
  The Panama agreement will pack a significant economic punch for the 
United States. While it is a smaller country than South Korea or 
Colombia, the International Trade Commission estimates that U.S. grain 
and meat exports to Panama will increase 60 percent.
  In the past several years, my State of Georgia has experienced a 327-
percent increase in exports to Panama. While these exports have 
increased despite the tariffs exporters are burdened with, a fair and 
free trade agreement will allow these firms to export duty-free, 
increasing the capital available to them and giving them more 
opportunity to grow.
  This agreement will have major implications for Georgia's 
agricultural producers. In fact, all three of these trade agreements 
will give major benefits to Georgia's agriculture sector.
  With the South Korea agreement, we will see gains in poultry, eggs, 
beef, cotton, and pecan exports as tariffs on these items are phased 
out. We will see the same benefits with the Columbia pact, and that 
agreement will also eliminate peanut tariffs over the next 15 years.
  I am proud to say that agriculture is not the only sector where 
Georgia will see gains. I would like to highlight a couple of local 
companies that stand to benefit from these agreements.
  Sasco is a third-generation family-owned business based in Albany, 
GA. Sasco produces and distributes worldwide more than 1,200 chemical 
products, but it faces a 5-percent tariff in Colombia.
  For Sasco to remain competitive in South America, it must be able to 
export duty free. While the company's president, Mark Skalla, continues 
to seek partnerships and contracts in the region, the delays he has 
experienced are hindering Sasco's expansion.
  Payne Hughes, CEO of Thrush Aircraft, a manufacturer of agricultural 
aircraft in Georgia, says he has already seen big gains in Panama and 
Colombia, where these markets continue to grow. As these countries' 
economies expand, American business will be able to take advantage of 
the increased needs for our quality products.
  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has calculated that for every $1 billion 
in agriculture exports, some 8,000 U.S. jobs are created and supported. 
Every $1 billion in manufacturing exports supports nearly 7,000 U.S. 
  The large-scale manufacturers in Georgia, including General Electric 
and IBM, will also see major benefits that translate to growth and job 
  As we continue to look for areas where we can enhance American 
competitiveness, increase job creation, and boost economic development, 
free-trade agreements are a sure-fire way to make big gains. They are, 
quite simply, good for American business.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I support the approval of free trade 
agreements for one simple reason: they create jobs across America. And 
they especially create jobs in my home State of Texas.
  Last year, Texas companies exported lots of products to South Korea, 
Colombia, and Panama, including chemical and energy products, heavy 
machinery and electronics, cotton and grain crops, and many others. 
Unfortunately, all of these products faced trade barriers in these 
countries through foreign tariffs amounting to hundreds of millions of 
dollars. These free trade agreements will level the playing field in 
America's favor by eliminating foreign tariffs. Each of these trade 
agreements also strengthens a key strategic relationship for our 
country. And so I would like to say a word or two about each one.
  The Korea Free Trade Agreement is of strategic importance because it 
reminds the world that America is a Pacific nation, and that America 
will continue to deepen our relationships with our allies and not 
abandon East Asia to China or anybody else. The Korea Free Trade 
Agreement is the most significant on the table in terms of U.S. 
exports. South Korea is the most prosperous nation to sign a free trade 
agreement with the United States since Canada and Mexico in the 1994 
NAFTA. Currently, Korean tariffs on U.S. products can be as high as 13 
percent. The White House estimates that the Korean Free Trade Agreement 
will generate up to $11 billion in new U.S. exports and 70,000 U.S. 
  And a lot of that economic activity will be in Texas. Texas exported 
$6.4 billion in products to South Korea last year--second only to 
California. Our State's leading category of exports to Korea is 
computers and electronics, which include integrated circuits, magnetic 
tape, and navigational equipment. Texans also export a variety of 
chemicals and machinery to Korea.
  The Colombia Free Trade Agreement will solidify our relationship with 
a crucial ally in a volatile region of our own hemisphere. Colombia has 
been a leader in the fight against drug trafficking and narcoterrorism. 
Colombia has also resisted the regional ambitions of Venezuela's Hugo 
Chavez. The White House estimates that the Colombian Free Trade 
Agreement will generate $1 billion in new U.S. exports and thousands of 
U.S. jobs.
  In Texas, my state exported $4.4 billion in products to Colombia last 
year more than any other state. Those products include petroleum 
products, coal, chemicals, electronics, and agricultural products. 
Texas ranchers will especially welcome this agreement as beef currently 
faces the single highest tariff in Colombia at 80 percent and this 
trade agreement will reduce that tariff to zero. Also cotton, wheat, 
and almost all fruits and vegetables will become duty free immediately.
  The Panama Free Trade Agreement is important because Panama is 
conducting one of the largest public works projects in history: 
expanding the Panama Canal. This project will cost $5.25 billion and 
provide many opportunities for construction firms and heavy equipment 
manufacturers in the U.S. Construction equipment and infrastructure

[[Page S6441]]

machinery used in such projects accounted for $280 million in U.S. 
exports to Panama in 2010. The agreement will end tariffs on these 
exports, providing U.S. firms an almost immediate 5 percent price 
advantage on procurement contracts.
  Texas exported $1.8 billion in products to Panama last year--more 
than any other State. Texas top exports to Panama are petroleum, coal, 
chemicals, and computers and other electronics.
  It is clear why Congress should approve these trade agreements. What 
is not clear is why it has taken us so long to act. The Colombia Free 
Trade Agreement was signed in November 2006. The Korea and Panama 
agreements were signed in June 2007. Why has it taken more than 4 years 
to act on them?
  The answer is that the leadership of Congress changed in 2007, and 
that leadership has been listening too much to union bosses and other 
special interests. Every time we seem to be close to approving these 
agreements, these liberal special interests have come up with a new set 
of demands. On May 10, 2007, the Bush White House and Congress agreed 
on new and more stringent labor and environment provisions. This action 
was supposed to allow approval for four trade agreements; however, only 
a pact with Peru was approved at that time. The Obama administration 
could have submitted the three remaining trade agreements at any time 
since January 2009. But new conditions kept coming.
  In November 2010, we learned of new conditions regarding taxation 
policy in Panama. In February 2011, we learned about new conditions 
placed on the Korea deal regarding auto emissions standards. In April 
2011, we learned about new and strikingly detailed conditions bordering 
on micromanagement--on the Colombian judiciary and law enforcement 
  And in May 2011, we learned about new demands for a little-known 
program called trade adjustment assistance, including the demand to 
dramatically expand trade adjustment assistance to cover nations the 
U.S. has not signed agreements with.
  The time is up for demands from Washington special interests. The 
time is now to make U.S. jobs and U.S. exports our priority. Let's send 
a message of friendship to the people of South Korea, Colombia, and 
Panama. And let's send a message to U.S. exporters that real jobs 
legislation is on its way.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today to express my support for 
the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
  These agreements will eliminate tariffs and nontariff barriers to 
U.S. exports and protect intellectual property and investment with 
three key trading partners.
  At a time when the national unemployment rate stands at almost 10 
percent--and tops 12 percent in my home State of California--I believe 
it is vital that we promote job growth by securing new opportunities 
for U.S. manufacturers, farmers and service providers in expanding 
foreign export markets.
  These three agreements are a good place to start.
  They are critical to the President's goal of doubling exports over 5 
years, which could create 2 million new jobs. This is from a L.A. Times 
editorial of August 12, 2010.
  It is simple: export growth as a result of these trade agreements 
will mean more jobs.
  And we have no time to lose. Other trading partners have signed or 
are in the process of negotiating free trade agreements with South 
Korea, Colombia and Panama.
  The European Union has already signed free trade agreements with 
South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The EU-South Korea agreement came 
into effect in July.
  Korea now has or is negotiating 13 free trade agreements involving 50 
  Canada concluded a trade agreement with Panama in 2010 and will gain 
preferential access to Colombia's market in August 2012.
  Argentina and Brazil already have preferential access to the 
Colombian market.
  We cannot afford to let our exporters lose market share to our 
  If we are left out, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that we 
could lose up to 380,000 jobs and $40 billion in exports.
  The best estimate is that these agreements will, in fact, create 
  According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, these 
agreements will create at least 70,000 U.S. jobs.
  U.S. exports to South Korea will increase by $11 billion and raise 
U.S. GDP by $12 billion.
  The Colombia trade agreement will increase U.S. exports by more than 
$1.1 billion and increase U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion.
  U.S. exports to Panama grew by 41 percent in 2010 to $6.1 billion and 
will continue to rise with passage of the free trade agreement.
  The Business Roundtable puts the number even higher at 250,000 jobs 
created with passage of the three agreements.
  Let me speak to the effects these agreements would have on my home 
State of California.
  As one of the 10 largest economic engines in the world with a $1.9 
trillion economy, California is a leader in U.S. and global markets 
with products ranging from agriculture to high-tech products and 
  In 2008, approximately 60,000 California companies exported products 
abroad, with manufactured good exports supporting 738,000 California 
  South Korea, Colombia and Panama already represent growing markets 
for California exporters. In 2010, South Korea was California's fifth 
largest export market with exports totaling more than $8.1 billion, up 
from $5.9 billion in 2009. In 2010, Colombia was California's 34th 
largest export market with exports totaling $408.7 million--a 24-
percent increase over the previous year.
  In 2010, Panama, with a growth rate of 7.5 percent, was California's 
42nd largest export market with exports totaling $252 million.
  Passage of these agreements will provide important openings for 
California exports which will help create jobs.
  According to Business Roundtable, more than 66 percent of California 
exports to Colombia will be duty-free after passage of this agreement, 
saving $27.2 million for California businesses and farmers, and more 
than 80 percent of California exports to South Korea will be duty free 
following implementation of the agreement, saving exporters $66 
  In Panama, California high-quality beef, other meat and poultry 
products, soybeans, wines and most fresh fruit and tree nuts will 
become duty free upon enactment.
  According to the California Chambers of Commerce Council for 
International Trade, California manufacturers will also gain 
significant access to the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion project 
as the agreement eliminates the 5 percent duty on construction 
equipment and infrastructure machinery. The project will ultimately 
reduce transportation costs for California exports.
  Make no mistake, South Korea, Colombia and Panama represent 
significant opportunities for all U.S. exporters.
  South Korea is our 7th largest trading partner, our 8th biggest 
export market and the 15th largest economy in the world.
  The agreement represents the largest free trade agreement since the 
North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA.
  While Colombia and Panama have smaller economies, they are both 
emerging trading partners. In 2010, U.S. exports to Colombia grew by 34 
percent to $12 billion, while exports to Panama grew by 41 percent to 
$6.1 billion.
  Again, export growth will lead to job growth.
  Some critics of these agreements argue that benefits gained by 
lowering tariffs and nontariff barriers to U.S. exports will be offset 
by benefits gained by our trading partners.
  The fact is, our trading partners already have substantial access to 
the U.S. market while our exports continue to face significant 
  Currently, the average Korean applied tariff on U.S. non-agricultural 
products is 7 percent. In contrast, the average U.S. tariff on Korean 
nonagricultural imports is 3.7 percent.
  The average Korean applied tariff on U.S. agricultural products is 52 
percent. The average U.S. tariff on Korean agricultural products is 12 

[[Page S6442]]

  Approximately 90 percent of Colombian exports and 98 percent of 
Panamanian exports enter the United States duty free under existing 
trade preference programs.
  In contrast, over 90 percent of U.S. exports to Colombia face tariffs 
averaging 12.5 percent, and less than 40 percent of U.S. exports to 
Panama enter duty free with industrial exports facing an average tariff 
of 7 percent and agricultural exports facing an average tariff of 15 
  So, these agreements will only serve to enhance U.S. competiveness by 
leveling the playing field for our exporters and give them 
opportunities our trading partners already enjoy here in the United 
  And I know our manufacturers, farmers and service providers can 
compete and succeed against anyone.
  Let me briefly discuss the key benefits of these agreements.
  Upon enactment of the agreement with South Korea, approximately 95 
percent of bilateral trade in industrial and consumer products will 
become duty-free within 5 years of the enactment of the agreement, 
including industrial and consumer electronic machinery, most chemicals, 
motorcycles and certain wood products. Most remaining tariffs will be 
eliminated within 10 years.
  More than half of current U.S. agricultural exports to Korea will 
become duty free immediately, including wheat, feed corn, soybeans for 
crushing, hides and skins, cotton, almonds, pistachios, bourbon 
whiskey, wine, raisins, grape juice, orange juice, cherries, frozen 
French fries and pet food.
  Approximately 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial 
products to Colombia will be duty-free upon the enactment of the 
agreement. Most remaining tariffs will be removed after 10 years.
  Both parties will grant certain farm products duty-free treatment 
immediately upon enactment of the agreement including high-quality 
beef, cotton, wheat, soybean meal, apples, pears, peaches, cherries and 
processed food products.
  Colombia will phase out quotas and over-quota tariffs on standard 
beef, chicken leg quarters, dairy products, corn, sorghum, animal 
feeds, soybean oil and rice within the next three to 19 years.
  Over 87 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products 
to Panama will become duty free upon enactment of the agreement, with 
the remaining tariffs phased out within 10 years.
  Panama will provide immediate duty-free access for more than half of 
U.S. agricultural exports including high-quality beef, poultry 
products, soybeans, cotton, wheat, fruits and vegetables, corn oil and 
many processed foods.
  I understand the concern some of my colleagues have about the effects 
free trade agreements may have on domestic jobs.
  While I firmly believe that past free trade agreements have an 
overall positive impact on the economy and job growth, there is no 
doubt that some Americans have lost jobs due to increased trade.
  That is why I remain a strong supporter of the Trade Adjustment 
Assistance, TAA, Program, which has helped these American workers 
transition to new opportunities in emerging job markets.
  TAA has proven to be a wise investment by ensuring that workers who 
lose their jobs remain productive and tax-paying members of our 
society, free of government assistance.
  I am pleased that we voted to renew this critical program before the 
vote on the three trade agreements.
  Now, I would like to address specific concerns raised about the 
agreements with Colombia and Korea.
  Critics have argued that, given Colombia's weak labor laws and 
violence against labor leaders and union organizers, it should not be 
rewarded with a free trade agreement.
  First, under the terms of the free trade agreement, Colombia has 
agreed to: reaffirm its obligations as a member of the International 
Labor Organization, ILO, and adopt and maintain in its laws and 
practice core labor rights and ILO labor standards; refrain from 
waiving or otherwise weakening the laws that implement this obligation 
in a manner affecting trade or investment; effectively enforce labor 
laws related to the fundamental rights, plus acceptable conditions of 
work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational 
safety and health; and ensure that workers and employers will have 
fair, equitable and transparent access to labor tribunals or courts.
  All labor obligations are subject to the agreement's dispute 
settlement procedures.
  Colombia in April also agreed to an action plan related to labor 
rights to prevent violence against labor leaders, prosecute antilabor 
violence and protect internationally recognized worker rights.
  Among other things, this plan requires Colombia to: create a 
specialized Labor Ministry to improve the enforcement of labor rights; 
criminalize actions or threats that could affect fundamental workers' 
rights including the right to organize; eliminate the backlog of 
requests from union members for protection; expand the scope of a 
protection program for union leaders to additional labor activists and 
union organizers; assign 95 police investigators to support the 
prosecution of crimes against union members; double the number of labor 
inspectors by hiring 480 inspectors over the next 4 years including 100 
new inspectors in 2011; and seek the assistance of the International 
Labor Organization to implement and enforce these pledges.
  Colombia has met the first two deadlines for implementation of the 
action plan and I look forward to the successful completion of the 
remaining commitments.
  There was also great concern about the auto provisions in the 
original 2007 U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
  Currently, South Korea maintains an 8-percent tariff on U.S. autos. 
The United States maintains a 2.5-percent tariff on Korean autos and a 
25-percent tariff on Korean trucks.
  Under the 2007 agreement, South Korea and the United States agreed to 
eliminate their respective duties on priority passenger vehicles 
immediately, to phase out their duties on other cars over 3 years and 
to phase out their duties on trucks over 10 years. In addition, South 
Korea agreed to eliminate the discriminatory aspects of its special 
consumption and annual vehicle taxes; not impose any new engine 
displacement taxes and to maintain non-discriminatory application of 
its existing taxes; and address several other non-tariff barriers to 
ensure that they do not impede the market access of U.S. autos.
  The U.S. auto industry and labor unions argued that the United States 
should not expand Korean access to the U.S. market until U.S. 
manufacturers are able to significantly increase their market share in 
South Korea and South Korea makes more concrete assurances that it will 
dismantle nontariff barriers.
  President Obama responded to their concerns and secured additional 
concessions from Korea that will expand U.S. access to the Korean auto 
  Under the terms of the December, 2010 agreement the U.S. will keep 
its 2.5-percent tariff on Korean imports until the 5th year following 
enactment of the agreement while Korea will immediately cut its tariff 
on U.S. autos in half--from 8 percent to 4 percent--and fully eliminate 
the tariff in the fifth year; and the U.S. will keep its 25-percent 
tariff on trucks until the 8th year and eliminate it by year 10 while 
Korea will keep its original commitment to eliminate its 10 percent 
tariff on U.S. trucks immediately.
  The agreement also contains new provisions to eliminate nontariff 
barriers to U.S. auto exports to Korea and increase protection against 
surges of Korean auto imports in the U.S.
  I applaud the administration for listening to the concerns of U.S. 
  These additional provisions strengthen the overall agreement and will 
provide new benefits for U.S. autos in an expanding foreign market and 
create more jobs. Due to President Obama's efforts, the United Auto 
Workers union and U.S. automakers now support the Korea agreement.
  In these difficult economic times, our constituents are sending us a 
clear message: they want Congress to focus on jobs.
  In this effort, we should leave no stone unturned.
  Expanding access for U.S. exports to the growing markets of Korea, 
Colombia and Panama will help create new jobs and increase economic 

[[Page S6443]]

  I urge my colleagues to support these agreements.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I support all three pending free trade 
agreements, FTAs. They will be good for our country and good for 
Virginia. They will create jobs by opening markets for high quality 
American products.
  Trade with Korea was worth $379 million to Virginia in 2010. Colombia 
was worth $80 million and Panama was worth $30 million. The 
Commonwealth stands to benefit from expanded opportunities for 
agriculture, chemicals, information technology, services, and other key 
  The success of FTAs for Virginia can be seen in the 13 other 
agreements entered into over the past decade. The 2004 U.S.-Singapore 
FTA enabled Singapore to become the fastest-growing market among the 
major buyers of Virginia's goods, rising from $300 million to over $1 
billion last year, mainly in computers and electronics.
  All told, Virginia did $17.1 billion in exports last year, including 
$14 billion in manufactured goods, $1.2 billion in agriculture, and a 
host of other products.
  Nonetheless, it is very important to me that we do more as a country 
to make sure the benefits of trade agreements and international 
commerce are more evenly distributed across this country.
  In the past, some States have done really well under trade deals. 
Others have not. Most of Virginia has been lucky to be on the winning 
end of trade. But there are areas, like southside Virginia, that have 
not seen the same benefits from earlier trade deals.
  That is why I am a strong advocate for onshoring initiatives and 
greater economic engagement between foreign-owned companies and rural 
America. I have joined my Virginia colleague, Representative Frank 
Wolf, in sponsoring bipartisan legislation called America recruits, 
which would support new inbound investment into the United States.
  The United States is one of the few countries without a national 
policy of supporting the recruitment of new companies. As a former 
Governor, I can tell you that this hamstrings the States when they 
compete head-to-head with foreign countries that can match or exceed 
support for individual State recruitment efforts.
  Looking forward, I hope the President and the Administration will be 
ambitious in working to complete the nine-country Trans-Pacific 
Partnership, TPP, as soon as possible.
  I commend our Trade Representative for the ongoing work on TPP. It is 
an innovative new type of trade deal, which aims for a high-standard, 
broad-based regional free trade agreement with Australia, Brunei 
Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
  It is critically important that we not lose sight of the fact that 
many of our competitors, ranging from Canada and the European Union to 
China, India, and Brazil are signing market access agreements and trade 
deals as quickly as possible. They understand the value of securing 
favorable terms for their goods and services in an increasingly 
globalized world. We cannot sit back and do nothing when 95 percent of 
the world's consumers live outside the United States.
  Therefore, while new trade agreements and efforts to remove market 
barriers are crucial, I conclude by urging Congress to reauthorize 
Trade Promotion Authority, TPA, which expired 4 years ago.
  TPA is often just referred to as ``fast track'' authority to pass 
trade agreements. But it is much more than that. TPA sets the direction 
of U.S. trade policy and guides the work of our trade negotiators.
  We need to have clear national objectives for trade and economic 
engagement. We need a greater focus on development and maintenance of 
global supply chains. We need strategies to address intellectual 
property issues and emerging concerns about the effects of state-owned 
enterprises as we focus on expanding market opportunities for U.S. 
goods and services.
  Trade is a key aspect of U.S. competitiveness. It is difficult to get 
completely right, but it is important to acknowledge our progress. The 
U.S. House of Representatives has just passed the three free trade 
agreements this evening. I hope the Senate will do the same in the next 
few hours so that we can continue to work together in support of an 
international economic agenda that benefits the United States to the 
greatest extent possible.
  Ms. AYOTTE. Mr. President, I rise today to welcome the imminent 
arrival of free trade agreements that are long-overdue in this Chamber. 
Our Nation grew to be the leader of the free world through trade and 
commerce, and we must not lose sight of the fact that safeguarding our 
access to world markets is essential to maintaining our economic 
  These free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama 
which I look forward to supporting this evening, represent real 
measures that will produce jobs and provide better opportunities for 
our manufacturers to sell their goods abroad. Given our faltering 
economy and the continuing high rate of unemployment, it is significant 
that today we can vote to implement policy that will put Americans to 
work and let our businesses compete on a level playing field with 
foreign competitors. Gaining access to hundreds of millions of 
consumers across the globe will have a monumental effect on our local 
  For years, most goods from Colombia and Panama have entered the U.S. 
duty-free, and it is about time that the President submitted these 
agreements to Congress so that American businesses can enjoy equal 
treatment. Despite having successfully negotiated treaties on his desk, 
the President stood by as other countries signed free trade pacts with 
these nations, forcing American exporters to watch as international 
competitors benefited. As the global economy continues to evolve, the 
submission of these agreements for congressional consideration is an 
important step to spur further trade and contribute to the growth of 
our economy at a time when it is so badly needed.
  During these challenging economic times, American businesses should 
not have to face trade barriers, such as high tariffs, which put them 
at a competitive disadvantage. Since 1997, New Hampshire's exports to 
Colombia have increased by nearly 1,300 percent, nearly 200 percent to 
Panama, and by 324 percent to South Korea. However, U.S. exporters pay 
billions of dollars a year through tariffs on industrial goods. After 
these free trade agreements go into effect, 95 percent of those tariffs 
will be eliminated, meaning that American businesses will benefit by 
expanding payroll and consumers will benefit by lowered costs for goods 
and services.
  With the highest growth rate in the Northeast and the fourth highest 
growth rate in the country, New Hampshire in particular stands to 
benefit from these agreements. New Hampshire exported $4.4 billion 
worth of merchandise in 2010, a major component of our State's 
approximately $60 billion total GDP. We have 15,000 New Hampshire jobs 
supported by exports, which represents a quarter of our manufacturing 
sector. The improved access to foreign markets brought about by these 
agreements will allow our industries to continue to grow and contribute 
to the economic environment that has made New Hampshire an attractive 
place for entrepreneurs to come to build their businesses.
  We need these free trade agreements because we need to commit to 
economic policies that will create jobs and grow our economy.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss the three 
pending agreements that the Senate will be considering later today.
  But before I address these agreements, I first want to express my 
strong support for the reauthorization of the Trade Adjustment 
Assistance Program.
  Three weeks ago I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in passing 
an expansion of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program to support 
workers in Minnesota and across this Nation who have lost their jobs or 
seen their hours reduced as a result of global exchange.
  I made clear then that I believed it was essential that we act on 
trade adjustment assistance before turning to the pending agreements 
and--with the House passing this legislation today--that is exactly 
what we have done.
  As chair of the Senate subcommittee on export promotion, I have long 

[[Page S6444]]

a proponent of increasing U.S. exports and helping U.S. producers reach 
new markets overseas.
  Ninety-five percent of the world's customers live outside our 
borders. So it is without exaggeration that I say our future prosperity 
hinges on our ability to reach those customers.
  As we continue to work to move our country out of this current 
economic downturn, we must take every available step we can to increase 
the competitive edge of American producers, farmers, and workers in the 
global economy.
  I will therefore be voting for both the South Korea and Panama 
agreements. While these agreements are not perfect, after hearing from 
Minnesota farmers and businesses, I believe they can help open new 
overseas markets for Minnesota producers and increase U.S. exports.
  The South Korea agreement is projected to increase U.S. exports to 
South Korea by an estimated $10 billion and increase U.S. GDP by $11 
  The agreement will have key benefits for my home State of Minnesota. 
Of Minnesota's top 10 exports to South Korea--such as machinery and 
electronics, medical equipment, and animal feed and meats--9 are 
expected to gain under the agreement.
  Many of those gains are expected to be in our State's agriculture 
industry, where South Korea is the fifth largest trading partner for 
Minnesota farmers. This agreement will reduce tariffs on dairy, corn, 
soybeans, pork, and other food products, allowing our Minnesota 
producers increased access to Korean markets.
  The Korea agreement will also eliminate tariffs on processed food, 
helping to increase exports and promote job growth for Minnesota's 
processed food producers like General Mills, Schwan's, and Hormel.
  The Korea agreement will also benefit the workers in our state's 
strong medical device industry. South Korea is currently the fifth 
largest market for U.S. medical equipment exports.
  Under the pending agreement, South Korea will immediately eliminate 
tariffs on 43 percent of medical equipment exports and eliminate 
tariffs on 90 Percent of the remaining medical equipment products in 3 
  Finally, I support the Korea agreement because it includes 
unprecedented provisions to defend intellectual property rights, 
promote transparency in Korea's trading and regulatory systems, and 
ensure full and equitable protection and security for American 
investors in Korea.
  Unfortunately, too many foreign nations engage in illegal trade 
practices, and too often they get away with it.
  I have long said that in order to ensure a level playing field for 
U.S. businesses and workers in an increasingly competitive global 
environment, we need enforceable standards in our agreements and we 
need to hold other nations accountable to those standards.
  Over the years, I have consistently fought to expose these illegal 
behaviors and worked hard to support several Minnesota industries such 
as our coated paper producers, steel producers, honey producers, and 
alternative energy producers. And just this week the Senate came 
together on a bipartisan basis to crack down on China's currency 
manipulation that is undermining our businesses and workers.
  As we move forward, I will continue to do everything I can to ensure 
that the standards included in the Korea agreement--and all other 
agreements--are strongly and fairly enforced.
  I would also like to briefly discuss the Panama Free Trade Agreement.
  Like the Korea agreement, I believe the Panama agreement will promote 
U.S. exports and strengthen market access for Minnesotan and U.S. 
  The United States already runs a trade surplus with Panama. Through 
the immediate elimination of tariffs on 88 percent of U.S. exports to 
Panama, and the elimination of remaining tariffs within 10 years, that 
surplus will only increase.
  The Panama agreement presents new opportunities for Minnesota 
manufacturers and their workers and, like the Korea agreement, also 
promotes greater transparency and enforcement in Panama.
  Finally I will oppose the Colombia agreement which does not do enough 
to address the country's endemic corruption and violence directed 
toward labor.
  Increasing U.S. exports will bring many opportunities to our 
businesses and workers, and implementation of the Korea and Panama Free 
Trade Agreements, as well as the Trade Adjustment Assistant Program, 
will help our Nation stay competitive in the global economy.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I rise to discuss the trade agreements 
pending before the Senate.
  I first want to note how pleased I am that a full extension of trade 
adjustment assistance will be sent to President Obama for his 
signature. This important program provides much-needed job training, 
health care, and income support to workers whose jobs are affected by 
  As we seek to grow our economy and increase exports we must take 
steps to train American workers and provide them with continued job 
  I am supporting the free trade agreement with South Korea because of 
its impact on California's economy. This agreement is not perfect, but 
on balance I believe it will benefit California.
  South Korea is California's 5th largest trading partner. California 
companies export more than $7 billion in goods there every year. This 
agreement will reduce tariffs and other trade barriers for California 
businesses that export goods to South Korea, resulting in greater 
productivity in my State. In addition, the South Korean economy is 
advanced, with per capita GDP equal to $30,000 year and a well-
developed middle class, which will provide a substantial market for all 
types of U.S. exports.
  The South Korea Free Trade Agreement also includes strong 
intellectual property rights that protect U.S. patents and trademarks 
and copyrights for films and other recorded works. These provisions are 
very important for California's entertainment sector. The agreement 
also reduces tariffs on U.S.-made machinery and high-tech products, 
increasing export potential for California industries.
  The agreement also includes carefully negotiated rules for 
automobiles, to protect our auto industry from unfair treatment. I am 
pleased that the United Auto Workers were able to support the final 
  The free trade agreement opens the Korean market to the large number 
of agricultural products we produce in California. In February 2011, I 
wrote to the administration to urge better market access for two 
important California products: rice and fresh oranges. While I am 
disappointed that California rice is not part of the FTA, I was pleased 
that the Obama administration will continue working to expand market 
access for California rice and for California citrus. As the agreement 
is implemented I will continue to press for fair treatment for all 
California agricultural commodities.
  I am also supporting this agreement because South Korea is a close 
friend and strategically-important ally for the United States in East 
Asia. Strengthening our trade relationship will bring economic and 
national security benefits to both nations, and will help to ensure 
that the U.S.-Korea relationship remains strong in the future.
  The South Korea FTA is supported by the California Chamber of 
Commerce, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Motion Picture 
Association of America, the California Association of Port Authorities, 
the California Manufacturing and Technology Association, the Pacific 
Merchant Shipping Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation, 
the Wine Institute, the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, the 
California Table Grape Commission, the California Walnut Commission, 
the California Strawberry Commission, the California Fig Advisory 
Board, the California Dried Plum Board, and the Western Growers 
Association, among many other groups.
  Mr. President, as chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee 
responsible for human rights, I cannot support a free trade agreement 
with Colombia. In short, Colombia's human rights record is appalling.
  More than 2,800 union members have been murdered in Colombia in the 
last 25 years, including 51 last year, and many more so far in 2011. 
The conviction rate for union murders and other

[[Page S6445]]

violence is shockingly low, and the Colombian government continues to 
support policies that deny workers the right to join unions and bargain 
  I am pleased that under a labor rights action plan negotiated between 
the Obama administration and the Colombia government that steps are 
being taken to provide more protection for union members and to 
investigate crimes, but I have major concerns that these reforms do not 
go far enough to provide real changes for workers in Colombia.
  This summer trade unionists from Colombia came to the United States 
to discuss the environment for working people in their country. Their 
stories are chilling.
  A Colombian port worker described how he is one of the few union 
members at the ports because so many trade unionists have been fired 
for joining unions. He talked about how the unsafe working conditions 
have caused dozens of deaths at ports, how those who are injured on the 
job receive no compensation from their employer, and how older workers 
are routinely fired.
  A math and science teacher discussed how teachers who participate in 
organizing efforts have their salaries withheld, and that the threat of 
violence against teachers with union ties forces many to flee their 
homes and their jobs to protect their families.
  Human Rights Watch recently released a report that concluded that 
Colombia has made ``virtually no progress'' in securing convictions for 
killings that have occurred in the last 4 years. Until Colombia's labor 
and human rights record shows significant long-term improvement, I 
cannot support a Free Trade Agreement, especially when U.S. producers 
stand to gain little from market access.
  When the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, was approved, we 
were told that the U.S. would run a trade surplus with Mexico and gain 
hundreds of thousands of jobs. But instead, our trade deficit with 
Mexico increased to almost $100 billion, displacing an estimated 
682,900 U.S. jobs.
  The economic situation in Mexico when NAFTA was passed is similar to 
the current climate in Colombia--a very low per capita GDP and a large 
percentage of the population living in poverty. A free trade agreement 
with Colombia under these conditions will result in the displacement of 
U.S. manufacturing jobs and few consumers for U.S. exports, just like 
what happened with Mexico after implementation of NAFTA.
  I also oppose the free trade agreement with Panama.
  For many years, Panama has failed to implement international tax 
standards. It has been a haven for those who seek to avoid their tax 
obligations. More than 400,000 multinational corporations register 
businesses in Panama, a nation with a population of 3.4 million people. 
That is one corporation for every seven persons. Although the recent 
Tax Information Exchange Agreements entered into by Panama are a step 
in the right direction, I will continue to have significant concerns 
about Panama's tax policies until they have fully implemented an 
accountable system.
  I hope that Panama will eventually develop a well-functioning tax 
system and cooperate with the international community, but I cannot 
support a Free Trade Agreement until a higher standard is reached.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, since World War II the United States has 
traded away American jobs in the name of foreign policy by entering 
into bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
  With a 9.1 percent national unemployment rate, 14 million Americans 
looking for work, and 10.6 percent unemployment in Rhode Island, there 
are no more jobs to give. As such, I cannot support these trade 
agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama that the Senate is 
considering today.
  I am not convinced these trade deals will result in net job growth 
for the United States. The International Trade Commission's analysis of 
the agreements finds negligible changes to aggregate employment and 
output. Analysis from The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the 
Korea FTA would lead to a loss of 159,000 jobs--much of this in the 
manufacturing sector. It must be stressed that, according to these 
analyses, any potential job gains associated with increases in American 
exports will be offset by job losses resulting from increased imports 
to the United States.
  Moreover, as a recent economic study has shown, my State is one of 
the most susceptible to labor-intensive imports. And as the 
International Trade Commission's sector analysis of these free trade 
agreements found, industries that are based in Rhode Island align with 
those foreign industries that will have the most access to U.S. 
markets. I am very concerned that Rhode Island businesses will feel the 
brunt of this import pressure while realizing little of the potential 
gains from exports.
  It is likely that U.S. job losses associated with the Korea FTA will 
be disproportionately felt in Rhode Island, particularly in the textile 
sector. The nature of the agreement and the change in tariff schedules 
pick clear winners and losers. U.S. agriculture and passenger vehicles 
will be winners, while manufacturing industries central to my State 
like textiles will be losers. I have heard from Rhode Island businesses 
opposed to the Korea agreement for this very reason.
  I, also, have serious reservations about the Colombian and Panama 
agreements. These agreements will have a relatively small impact on the 
U.S. economy, but present basic questions of accountability. Colombia 
has one of the highest rates of anti-union violence in the world. 
Panama has its own duty free zone and there are concerns about whether 
there are enough resources being dedicated to deter illegal 
transshipment of goods, which could lead to other nations taking 
advantage of our trade agreement with Panama by skirting customs and 
violating ``rules of origin'' requirements. Additionally, despite 
Panama's recent tax information exchange agreement, questions remain 
about the degree to which transparency and bank secrecy laws will 
continue to be obstacles to enforcing U.S. tax law.
  Both Colombia and Panama have made efforts to correct these issues. 
However, the results of these efforts are not clear and more work 
remains to be done to ensure that accountability is built into the 
  I do want to stress that my opposition to these agreements is not 
meant to undercut the good work of our partners and allies in Korea, 
Colombia, and Panama. Korea is one of our most vital partners in Asia 
and a democracy that shares our values. Colombia is an important Latin 
American ally that has made enormous progress in strengthening the rule 
of law and combating extremist organizations and drug traffickers. And 
the United States has a singular relationship with Panama that has 
progressively strengthened over time.
  However, at this time, I think we should stop and pause and think 
about our domestic needs and how to get our economy back on track. The 
United States needs to enter into trade agreements that will 
unequivocally benefit Americans workers--these trade deals do not. So, 
I will vote against the Korea, Colombia, and Panama trade agreements, 
and continue working to find a better way to promote bilateral trade 
that will lead to job growth here at home.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, our country continues to struggle with the 
aftereffects of the housing bubble and the economic mistakes of the 
previous decade. There has been a great human cost to this economic 
slump--families forced out of their homes, shameful increases in child 
poverty, and a shrinking middle class.
  President Obama has offered a number of steps to help heal our 
economy and put people back to work. One such plan includes a doubling 
of U.S. exports within five years. Exports are good for America and 
good for American jobs. They strengthen our manufacturing and 
agriculture sectors and in turn create good paying jobs. Quite simply, 
to help create more jobs here at home, we need to be able to access new 
markets and eliminate trade barriers for U.S. exporters.
  At the same time, we must ensure that we engage not just in free 
trade, but fair trade--trade that upholds our values on labor, human 
rights, and environmental protections, fair treatment of U.S. products, 
and supports transparent markets.

[[Page S6446]]

  That is why in my time in Congress I have always considered each 
potential trade agreement on a case by case basis.
  This year, it was clear to me that we could not approve further free 
trade agreements if the trade adjustment assistance programs were not 
extended. We can't expand free trade without helping workers who may be 
displaced because of trade agreements. I strongly support and voted to 
extend the benefits under trade adjustment assistance. Since 2009, TAA 
has provided assistance to 447,235 workers--119,772 in Illinois--
displaced due to trade agreements. It has provided training for workers 
as they transition to a new career, help with income, and health care 
tax credits to ease the transition.
  Overall I believe in trade. I believe trade creates jobs. Illinois is 
the country's sixth largest exporter. Exports grew 19.6 percent from 
2009 and totaled over $50 billion in 2010 and supported 540,000 jobs. 
In 2008 alone, nearly 17,000 companies exported goods from Illinois 
locations. Iconic Illinois companies like Caterpillar, John Deere, and 
Boeing rely on trade to grow their business and support workers in 
Illinois and across the country. Other industries, including Illinois 
agriculture, have used trade to expand markets and feed more and more 
of the world. Motorola, ADM, Illinois Tool Works, Navistar, Abbott, 
Fortune brands and many others rely on trade to help grow business here 
at home.
  I also believe trade keeps America engaged in the world. It gives us 
economic and diplomatic leverage around the world. Too often in recent 
years we have sat on the sidelines while countries with emerging 
markets sign bilateral trade agreements with our competitors in the EU 
and elsewhere--too often at America's loss.
  Last year, U.S. exports supported 9.2 million good paying American 
jobs. Every $1 billion in new exports supports 6,000 additional jobs 
here at home. The free trade agreements now being considered by 
Congress similarly offer the potential to open new markets for 
agricultural, consumer and industrial exporters.
  The South Korea Free Trade Agreement alone is estimated to support 
70,000 additional jobs by opening up Korea's $560 billion market to 
U.S. companies. South Korea is Illinois' 16th largest export market. We 
exported $788 million in goods and services in 2010. Illinois Pork 
Producers will gain improved access to a market that is constantly 
growing. With this trade agreement, 66 percent of tariffs on 
agricultural products will be eliminated immediately, allowing us to 
better compete with imports from Europe. Chemical manufacturers 
accounted for an average of $97 million per year of Illinois' 
merchandise exports to Korea between 2008 and 2010. This deal will mean 
that 50 percent of U.S. chemicals exports by value will receive duty-
free treatment, immediately creating opportunities for Illinois 
exporters. And many of those exports were moved through the Port of 
Chicago, which supports and strengthens our transportation 
  Profile Products is a company based in Buffalo Grove, IL, with 
offices and plants in five other States. This company makes products 
that help establish turf and accessories to control erosion on sports 
fields, golf courses, and landscaping. It has been exporting to South 
Korea for over 15 years. The company faces tariffs up to 14 percent. 
Passage of the South Korea FTA would eliminate tariffs on the company's 
exports to South Korea, allowing the company to grow and to hire more 
American employees.
  The Panama Free Trade Agreement also provides opportunities for 
several Illinois companies and industries. As Panama continues with the 
$5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, Illinois companies like 
John Deere and Caterpillar will see almost all tariffs eliminated for 
equipment and infrastructure machinery with this trade deal. Ninety-two 
percent of large mining trucks shipped from Caterpillar's Decatur, IL, 
location are exported. Eighty-two percent of Large Track Type Tractors 
shipped from the East Peoria, IL, plant are exported. With the 
elimination of tariffs on exports into Panama, Caterpillar's American 
jobs are more secure.
  Passing these two free trade agreements with growing free market 
democracies is an important step in meeting the President's goal of 
doubling exports in five years, creating more American jobs, and 
staying engaged in the global community.
  On the third proposed agreement--the one with Colombia--I have 
wrestled with whether this is the time to support such a step. Colombia 
is a strong American ally in an often turbulent region. It will remain 
our strong friend and partner.
  Last year, as chairman of the Senate Human Rights and the Law 
Subcommittee, I held a hearing that examined the human rights situation 
in Colombia.
  Colombia has made progress on protecting human rights, activists and 
indigenous populations and providing reparations and returning land to 
those who have been displaced during the decade long civil war. 
Colombia has worked with the U.S. to develop and implement the ``Action 
Plan Related to Labor Rights'' in an attempt to address issues that 
have allowed more than 2800 union members to be murdered since 1986.
  But the action plan is not included in this trade agreement and, 
given the history of violence and human rights abuses, I worry that its 
omission leaves us without an enforcement capability to ensure it is 
followed to completion.
  While Colombia's steps to mitigate human rights abuses should be 
noted, the trend remains troubling. In 2010, 51 unionists were murdered 
and many cases have not been brought to justice. Too often perpetrators 
of violence do so with impunity. So far this year, 22 unionists have 
been killed in Colombia--10 since the action plan on labor rights was 
agreed to. Too often workers who try to unionize are fired and 
blacklisted. Some continue to receive death threats.
  There are other examples, including the baseless prosecutions of 
human rights defenders, and the ``false positives'' cases, where 
innocent civilians were executed by the military and passed off as 
rebel fighters killed in combat.
  Simply put, these problems remain unacceptable. More needs to be 
done. The Colombian government needs to utilize every available 
resource to ensure that unionists, indigenous populations, and their 
allies are protected. Colombia also needs to ensure that victims are 
treated fairly, human rights violators are brought to justice, and that 
laws are enforced.
  I support trade with Colombia and hope such an agreement is in our 
near future, but I cannot in good conscience ignore the fact that my 
vote for this Colombia Free Trade Agreement would indicate my approval 
that enough has been done to stem human rights abuses in Colombia. It 
  Mr. President, seeing no one seeking recognition, I suggest the 
absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Bennet). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                             Iran Sanctions

  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I know we will soon be voting on these 
trade agreements, but I have an issue that I think has immediacy in 
nature and needs to be brought up now. It is something I have been 
pursuing for some time.
  We have heard FBI evidence of an alleged plot by Iran and its elite 
Quds Force to assassinate a foreign diplomat on U.S. soil--an 
extraordinary act of international terrorism that demands, at a 
minimum, immediate enactment of the most robust sanctions against Iran 
possible. Were it not for the vigilance of the American intelligence 
community, the FBI, and all our law enforcement and intelligence 
agencies working together, this plot could have not only taken the life 
of Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the United States but potentially 
hundreds of innocent Americans here in Washington.
  Think of the Machiavellianism of taking out the Saudi Ambassador at a 
downtown Washington restaurant and what that would mean in terms of 
lives lost and the inevitable response it would provoke from the Saudis 
and from the United States.
  In the coming weeks, we will hear the exact details of this 
incredible plot

[[Page S6447]]

and the extent of the involvement of members of the Iranian 
Revolutionary Guard. We know the Revolutionary Guard in Iran is at the 
highest levels of the Iranian Government. That is why I specifically 
targeted the Revolutionary Guard in the Iran sanctions legislation that 
is now law. The new legislation I call on my colleagues to support and 
which now has 76 bipartisan cosponsors will consolidate our original 
sanctions law.
  Iran's actions demand that we move this legislation in the Congress 
as we simultaneously go to the United Nations, to the international 
community, and bring to bear whatever pressure we can to convince the 
Chinese and the Russians to agree to tighter sanctions against Iran.
  The fact is--clearly--we must do all we can to end Iran's exportation 
of terrorism, which has already taken lives around the globe from 
Lebanon to Argentina, is responsible for attacks on coalition forces in 
Iraq, our own soldiers in Iraq, and now threatens innocent Americans in 
our Nation's Capital. I, for one, am not shocked at the revelations we 
have heard in the last 24 hours. I have known what this regime is 
capable of, what it intends, and what it will do to achieve its goals. 
The time has come for this Congress to take the first step in 
responding to this egregious plot to conduct an assassination in a 
downtown Washington restaurant.
  Since I took Federal office in 1993, then in the House of 
Representatives, I have raised, for some time, this issue of Iran and 
its ambitions. I have vociferously and passionately advocated my 
concern on behalf of the Jewish people in the State of Israel to 
protect them from the threat of a radical Iranian regime. Now that 
threat has been directed here, toward American soil, where even 
American citizens could have died in a plot that defies the imagination 
in its brashness, boldness, and irrationality.
  What specifically do we do? Our first act must be to immediately 
respond with tougher sanctions that isolate Iran politically and 
economically--sanctions that will freeze the assets of the Iranian 
Revolutionary Guard Corps members and allies and shut down the IRGC's 
sources of revenue, expedite the imposition of sanctions, force 
companies to decide whether they want to do business with the United 
States or Iran, and ensure that the United States is an Iranian oil-
free zone by banning imports of refined petroleum made with Iranian 
  To that end, along with Senators Lieberman, Kyl, Gillibrand, Casey, 
Kirk, and Collins, we have introduced in the Senate the Iran, North 
Korea, and Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act of 2011. It is a bill 
which recognizes that if Iran's principal goal is to acquire weapons of 
mass destruction and apparently conduct brazen attacks on American soil 
against international officials, then it must be the policy of the 
United States to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring 
the capability to threaten its neighbors and to threaten nations around 
the world.
  The time has come to take that first step and move this legislation.
  This legislation closes the remaining loopholes in our sanctions 
policy. In essence, it is perfecting the sanctions policy we helped 
pass in the Senate. It insists on a comprehensive diplomatic initiative 
within the United Nations to qualitatively expand the U.N. Security 
Council sanctions regime against Iran so Iran cannot find a financial 
safe harbor or a willing partner anywhere in the world. It imposes 
immigration restrictions on senior officials from Iran, North Korea and 
Syria and their associates who seek to enter our country, and it 
complements those sanctions by reaching out to the Iranian people--
facilitating democracy assistance and developing a comprehensive 
strategy to promote Internet freedom and access to information inside 
Iran. These sanctions will help deter the threat Iran poses to U.S. 
national security because of its suspected nuclear weapons program and 
will have an impact on Iran's ability, through the Revolutionary Guard 
and its intelligence arm, to carry out another plot such as the one we 
have uncovered.
  What have we learned in the last 24 hours? We have learned that the 
Iranian regime is a growing threat not only to its neighbors, not only 
to the region, but to the world, and potentially to our own homeland. 
We have learned it is in the interest of the world to apply maximum 
pressure to the Iranian regime. We have learned we must tighten the 
screws on the Iranian regime to genuinely advance the cause of 
stability and peace in the Middle East and, clearly, around the world.
  These sanctions are an essential means to that end. We need the ban 
on trade with Iran to be strong, significant and, as humanly possible, 
airtight--a ban that does not have Americans subsidizing the very 
regime that seeks to harm us by purchasing gasoline and diesel that are 
made of Iranian crude.
  Iran's actions have made it a rogue nation that must be dealt with in 
the strongest terms. We cannot wait for another plot such as this to be 
uncovered. We cannot take the chance that the next one will not be 
uncovered. Passing the new sanctions I have proposed with, as I said, 
76 of our colleagues here is a start, and we cannot, as a nation, 
falter. The time to act is now.
  I applaud the White House for its quick action this week in imposing 
new sanctions against the people responsible for the planned attack on 
the Saudi Ambassador and other targets in Washington. I appreciate the 
administration's effort to implement and multilateralize sanctions on 
Iran. This administration has done more to isolate Iran than any prior 
administration, Republican or Democratic, including their quick 
response this week designating individuals involved in the plot as well 
as today's sanction of Iran's Mahan Air.
  The news this week, however, has confirmed our worst fears that Iran 
will not hesitate to advance its interests regardless of the political 
cost. Iran, given its history of exporting terrorism against coalition 
forces in Iraq, in places such as Argentina, in Lebanon--and its 
continued drive to advance its nuclear weapons program, despite being 
slowed by U.S. and international sanctions--clearly, with the alleged 
plot uncovered this week, remains undeterred.
  It is time to take the next steps--to isolate Iran politically and 
financially. We must enact sanctions now, to exert the unyielding 
pressure of the U.S. Government against the Iranian regime, and bring 
to bear the condemnation of the international community so that the 
regime fully understands the world will not tolerate such actions if 
carried out.
  These sanctions will prevent us from having to face that situation in 
the future. They are in our national security interest. They are in the 
interest of Iran's neighbors, in the interest of the region, and they 
are in the interest of the security of every nation that wishes to be 
secure in its borders, safe from the terrorist acts of a rogue state. 
That is what is at stake. That is why I look forward to a hearing we 
will be having tomorrow in the Banking Committee on the effect of the 
sanctions legislation we already have. I believe that hearing will 
deduce testimony that clearly shows that because of the sanctions 
legislation we already passed in the Congress, signed by the President 
that, in fact, we have made a significant dent in Iran's commercial 
activities. But it has not ceased or desisted from its march to nuclear 
weaponry. And, obviously, by this latest plot, it has not ceased or 
desisted from its willingness, even on U.S. soil, to carry out such an 
assassination. Therefore, the time to act is now.
  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor and suggest the absence 
of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Manchin are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. KIRK. Mr. President, I rise in support of the three free-trade 
agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea that will be before 
us shortly here in the Senate. Few States need these agreements more 
than the State of Illinois.

[[Page S6448]]

  This week, I released a report on the State of Illinois's debt. We 
now have the worst credit rating in America. Our State has fallen to 
47th for a healthy business climate, with only half of the State's 
pension and health care promises actually funded.
  Instead of continuing our State's debt spiral, these agreements will 
help the bottom line of Illinois exporting employers who hopefully will 
create thousands of new jobs without adding to the borrowing of our 
State or any new taxes.
  Since 1997, Illinois exports to Colombia have increased by 164 
percent, and exports to Panama have increased by 196 percent. 
Collectively, the three nations represented more than $1 billion worth 
of Illinois export sales in 2010.
  We will see the benefits of these agreements across a wide spectrum 
of jobs--from high-tech companies to manufacturers to farmers.
  Illinois-based Caterpillar, in Peoria, which in 2010 exported $13 
billion worth of products to other countries, will see tariffs reduced 
by hundreds of thousands of dollars on goods through these free-trade 
agreements. The Panama Canal expansion project alone represents a $300 
million opportunity for Caterpillar. The trade deals are particularly 
important for Illinois-based Navistar, which has one of the best named 
truck brands in Colombia and Panama.
  Illinois agriculture also reaps a windfall from the pending free-
trade agreements. Trade deals are expected to create about $2.5 billion 
in new agricultural exports and over 22,000 jobs nationwide. Expanding 
export markets for Illinois farmers and the increased demand for 
agricultural products and equipment manufactured in Illinois will allow 
employers such as ADM in Decatur, John Deere in Moline, and, as I 
mentioned, Caterpillar in Peoria to reinvest in their companies and to 
hire more citizens of our State. Illinois farmers and ranchers are 
expected to see about $90 million in increased direct exports as a 
result of the Senate's approval of these trade deals.
  These deals represent the direction the Senate should take overall on 
job creation--no tax increase, no borrowing, but opening new markets 
for American-made products.
  I think next the Congress should build on this bipartisan job-
creating vote and move to reduce regulatory burdens on small businesses 
and reform the Tax Code so U.S. businesses can better compete globally.
  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, over the past several weeks, the Senate has 
focused closely on international trade. We have debated trade 
adjustment assistance, a bill to penalize China's currency policies, 
and our pending free-trade agreements. These have been robust debates. 
It is an appropriate capstone that we will soon be approving our trade 
agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
  The reality is, these agreements should have passed long ago. 
Although completed over 4 years ago, they were first blocked in the 
111th Congress by a Democratic majority in the House of 
Representatives. They were then delayed by our own President, who 
devised excuse after excuse for not acting to implement them.
  This spring, after the excuses related to the agreements themselves 
were addressed by our trading partners, the President made a new 
demand. This time it was trade adjustment assistance spending. The 
President made it clear that if this domestic spending program was not 
expanded and approved, he would abandon our allies in Colombia, Panama, 
and South Korea and cede these growing markets to our foreign 
  It took Congress months to untie this substantive and procedural 
Gordian knot that President Obama and his administration created.
  Throughout this long period of delay, U.S. workers and exporters were 
denied the benefits of these agreements. At the same time, these allies 
began to doubt the commitment of the United States to our friendship, 
as well as our ability to deliver on our promises.
  I am concerned that going forward the President will put even more 
new conditions on his support for trade and trade agreements. I 
certainly hope not. As a nation, we cannot afford to hold our 
international economic competitiveness hostage to unrelated demands for 
more spending or to a liberal social agenda. If our economy is going to 
grow and our workers prosper, then we need to do better.
  Trade is good for the United States. Today, the United States is the 
world's largest economy. Contrary to the views of many Americans, the 
United States exports more in goods and services than any other 
country. It is imperative that the United States continues to open 
foreign markets. After all, 95 percent of the world's population lives 
outside of the United States. Economists estimate that almost 83 
percent of growth over the next 5 years will take place outside of the 
United States. Simply put, most of our future customers are located in 
foreign countries.
  U.S. exporters face foreign barriers that limit our ability to sell 
U.S. goods and services in foreign markets. Often, tariffs on our 
exports tend to be much higher than our own tariffs. U.S. trade 
agreements level the playing field. They reduce or eliminate tariffs 
and other barriers to U.S. exports.
  The math is pretty simple. Lower tariffs and fewer barriers mean more 
exports, and more exports mean more jobs. But we cannot reduce these 
tariffs or eliminate barriers without the right tools. In my mind, 
renewing trade negotiating authority is the key to our future success. 
I was, frankly, dismayed when our colleagues across the aisle, just a 
few weeks ago, rejected an amendment to provide their own President 
with the authority to negotiate new trade agreements. We call that 
trade promotion authority. We all know the authority to negotiate trade 
agreements expired years ago. Since then the United States has been 
sitting on the sidelines while other nations negotiate agreements all 
around the world.
  There is no doubt about it, even with the approval of these three 
free-trade agreements, the United States is already far behind. It is 
my understanding that there are 209 free-trade agreements around the 
world. The United States is a party to just 12 such agreements, with 17 
countries. We should be expanding the number of our free-trade 
agreements and the number of our free-trade partner countries.
  Everyone knows if you are not in the game, you cannot win. Right now, 
the United States is not in the game. While it is true the President is 
in the process of negotiating an agreement to create a Trans-Pacific 
Partnership, we all know the chances of it actually succeeding are 
almost nonexistent without trade negotiating authority.
  Let's keep in mind that trade negotiating authority has been the norm 
rather than the exception for much of this past century. Congress first 
authorized reciprocal negotiating authority in 1934 to help pull the 
U.S. economy out of the Great Depression. That authority was renewed 11 
times between 1934 and 1962. In 1974, the Congress first authorized the 
President to negotiate tariff and nontariff barriers and bring them 
back for congressional consideration on an expedited basis, without 
amendments. Every President since 1974 has sought that authority from 
  President Ford argued that the legislation ``enables the United 
States to play a leading role in . . . multilateral negotiations.''
  President Carter said the legislation ``solidifies America's position 
in the international community.''
  President Ronald Reagan extolled the virtues of TPA, noting that when 
properly used, it ``manifestly serves our national economic 
  President George H.W. Bush noted that extension of TPA was ``in the 
vital national interest of the United States and absolutely fundamental 
to our major foreign policy objectives.''
  President Clinton argued strenuously for TPA, making the case that 
``the legislation will give us the authority to increase access to 
foreign markets . . . if we don't seize these opportunities, our 
competitors surely will. An `America last' strategy is unacceptable.''

[[Page S6449]]

  President George W. Bush successfully made the case that TPA was 
critical to opening markets around the world. Once he achieved its 
renewal, he made opening foreign markets a key priority of his 
administration. To give credit where it is due, if it wasn't for 
President Bush's leadership in seeking TPA and negotiating agreements 
with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, we would not have any 
agreements to consider today.
  Unfortunately, President Obama, while touting the importance of 
exports, has been virtually silent on the need for TPA. Instead of 
leading on TPA, this President has consistently ducked the issue, 
avoided the debate, and let America continue to fall further behind.

  This America-last--or, as some put it, leading-from-behind--strategy 
is unacceptable. We need a strong vision of leadership in the global 
economy. We can start by approving these three free-trade agreements. 
The fact is, tariffs on our exports to Colombia, Panama, and South 
Korea are much too high. These agreements will eliminate these tariffs. 
But the benefits of each agreement go far beyond tariff elimination. 
The agreements also guarantee fair access for U.S. service providers, 
reduce unfair barriers to our agricultural exports, provide high levels 
of protection for our intellectual property rights, and ensure high 
levels of investment protection. In short, each of these agreements 
helps U.S. workers compete and win in these growing markets.
  Make no mistake, if we don't take advantage of these new markets, 
other countries will, and it is the U.S. worker who will lose. We 
cannot afford to allow nations to race ahead while our workers stay 
  I urge my colleagues to join with Senator Baucus and me in supporting 
each one of these trade agreements. Their approval can be the first 
good step toward reigniting a vigorous international trade agenda that 
puts America first and enables the United States to once again lead the 
world in opening markets and expanding economic growth.
  In that regard, I pay tribute to my colleague on the Finance 
Committee, Senator Baucus. He has done a great job in working on this 
issue. He has been a wonderful partner to me and a wonderful leader on 
our committee. When it comes to trade, he certainly deserves a lot of 
credit for helping to push this through. I am grateful to be able to 
work with a quality person like him.
  I also would like to acknowledge a few of the many people who made 
these agreements happen. First, I would like to thank the talented 
members of the Bush administration who were instrumental in negotiating 
these agreements. Of course, first there is our colleague, Senator Rob 
Portman, U.S. Trade Representative for President George W. Bush; 
Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, U.S. Trade Representative; Warren Maruyama, 
General Counsel; Ambassador John Veroneau, Deputy U.S. Trade 
Representative; Rob Lehman and Tim Keeler, Chiefs of Staff to the U.S. 
Trade Representative; Karan Bhatia, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; 
Justin McCarthy, Special Assistant to President Bush for Legislative 
Affairs; and Andy Olson, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for 
Legislative Affairs. I would also like to recognize the hard work and 
commitment of USTR's professional staff, especially Wendy Cutler, 
Bennett Harman, Michelle Carrillo, Maria Pagan, and Leigh Bacon--
without their efforts we would not have achieved conclusion of these 
historic agreements.
  Next, I would like to thank my staff--they have been relentless in 
pressuring the administration to send these long-completed FTAs to 
Congress so we can pass them in order to create American jobs and grow 
the American economy. This is a huge success and I am happy to share it 
with them. In particular, I would like to thank the Staff Director of 
my Finance Committee staff, Chris Campbell; my Chief International 
Trade Counsel, Everett Eissenstat, both for serving as a chief 
negotiator for the Colombia and Panama agreements while at USTR and for 
his efforts in implementing the agreements here on Capitol Hill; 
International Trade Counsels Paul DeLaney, Greg Kalbaugh, David 
Johanson, Maureen McLaughlin, and Ryika Hooshangi; Staff Assistant 
Rebecca Nasca; and Legislative Counsel Polly Craighill. I would like to 
also thank prior Finance Committee trade staff including former Chief 
Counsel Stephen Schaefer, International Trade Counsel David Ross, and 
Claudia Poteet. The multi-year effort to pass these FTAs succeeded 
because of their hard work, expertise, and tenacious pursuit of the 
public interest.
  Senator Baucus had a good staff helping him as well. I would like to 
thank them for their hard work and long nights that went into making 
this happen. I would like to thank Russ Sullivan, majority Staff 
Director of the Finance Committee; Chief Trade Counsel Amber Cottle; 
International Trade Counsels Ayesha Khanna, Michael Smart, and Gabriel 
Adler; and professional staff member Chelsea Thomas. Their work is to 
be commended.
  We can all be proud of these accomplishments and I look forward to 
the President signing these agreements into law.
  Mr. President, I am ready to vote. I yield the floor at this time.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Begich). Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that all remaining 
time be yielded back, with the exception of 15 minutes, to be equally 
divided between Senator Baucus and the Republican leader, with Senator 
Baucus controlling the first 7\1/2\ minutes; that upon completion of 
their remarks, the Senate proceed to votes on passage of H.R. 3080, 
H.R. 3079, and H.R. 3078 as provided under the previous order; that 
there be 2 minutes, equally divided, in the usual form between the 
votes; and that all after the first vote be 10-minute votes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, my remarks will be brief because we are at 
a point, finally, where we are passing these three trade agreements.
  The Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements will 
increase U.S. exports by $13 billion, boost gross domestic product by 
more than $15 billion, and support or create tens of thousands of 
American jobs.
  These agreements will provide an economic boost at a time when our 
country sorely needs it. But the value of these agreements goes well 
beyond dollars and cents. In recent years, critics of the United States 
have argued we have surrendered our leadership role on international 
trade. They claim our government, with its divided powers and narrow 
and changing partisan majorities, is incapable of forming a consensus 
for expanding trade, let alone a consensus on other political matters, 
including reducing our national debt.
  Today, we have the opportunity to prove our critics wrong. These 
agreements were negotiated by a Republican President, improved by a 
Democratic President, and will be supported by strong bipartisan 
majorities in the House and in the Senate. They demonstrate the best of 
American values--open markets, transparent regulation, and respect for 
labor rights and the environment. They set the standard by which all 
trade agreements will be judged, and they put to rest any doubt the 
United States will engage its global partners to establish trade rules 
that are both free and fair.
  By approving these agreements, we will also bind ourselves even more 
closely to three of our most important allies, and we will demonstrate 
to countries around the world that the United States is a good and 
dependable partner.
  One decade ago, Colombia was on the brink of collapse. Armed conflict 
raged, drug traffickers flourished, violence against workers flared, 
and the economy stagnated. The United States pledged its support for 
Plan Colombia. With that plan, we provided more than $7 billion to 
Colombia to fight drug trafficking, spur development, and protect human 

[[Page S6450]]

  With our assistance, Colombia has achieved amazing progress. It is 
healing from the wounds of conflict. It has demobilized 50,000 former 
combatants, stemmed the flow of illegal drugs and the violence 
associated with it, and it is reducing labor violence and strengthening 
worker rights. If we approve our free-trade agreement with Colombia, we 
will help Colombia solidify and build on these gains, and we will reap 
for ourselves the benefits of our significant investments in this 
important country.
  Panama has been a friend and ally since its early days as a nation. 
In the early 20th century, the United States built the Panama Canal, 
which remains the world's greatest commercial hub. We helped the 
Panamanian people restore democracy in 1989 after 20 years of military 
  Today, Panama is among the fastest growing countries in the Western 
Hemisphere. It is both the crossroads of international trade and a 
global financial center. It is also a close partner in the fight 
against the illegal drug trade. With the Panama Free Trade Agreement, 
we will further strengthen our relationship for decades to come.
  South Korea is a strategic ally in a region clearly vital to U.S. 
national interests. Despite living under the constant threat of a 
dangerous and erratic neighbor, South Korea has become the 15th largest 
economy in the world. Last year, it served as President of the G20 
group of countries.
  This trade agreement we have concluded with South Korea is our 
largest bilateral agreement in nearly two decades. It will ensure our 
commercial relationship is as strong as our 60-year security 
  These free-trade agreements will deliver significant economic 
benefits to the American people. Let us renew a bipartisan consensus on 
trade, reaffirm U.S. leadership in the global economy, and cement our 
ties with three important partners. Let us approve our free-trade 
agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
  I might add, before I yield to the Republican leader, that the order 
of the agreements is, first, on Panama, then South Korea, and then 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republican leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, we are on the verge of doing something 
very important for our country tonight, and we are going to do it on a 
bipartisan basis. I wish to congratulate the chairman of the Finance 
Committee, Senator Baucus, for the role he played and for the 
constructive efforts by Senator Portman and Senator Blunt to help us 
get to this evening. But I wish to single out for special praise our 
leader on this issue, Senator Hatch, the ranking member of our Finance 
Committee, who has been a stalwart on behalf of free trade over the 
  I think it is appropriate to take a moment before the vote to note 
the importance of what we are doing. The first point to make about 
these agreements is that they will help American businesses create new 
jobs in the United States. The second point to make is there is strong 
bipartisan support for all three of these agreements. In other words, 
anyone who says that two parties can't agree on anything isn't telling 
the whole story.
  Consider this: On the very day Democrats and Republicans were 
planning to come together to vote in favor of these trade agreements, 
Democrats spent the entire morning talking about what a shame it is 
that it never happens--that we never get together. Clearly, this vote 
is getting in the way of their political message, and that message is 
kind of absurd to watch.
  Frankly, I think it would be a lot less confusing for anybody 
watching at home--not to mention a lot better for job creation--if our 
friends on the other side would agree to work with us more often on a 
bipartisan basis, as we have done on the bills before us. Our friends 
on the other side may think it helps them politically for Americans to 
think we don't cooperate, but what I am seeing is that the vote we are 
about to take shows that is simply not true.
  We could get a lot more done up here if the President and our friends 
who control the Senate would move away from the left fringe and stop 
insisting on partisan bills that are designed to fail. If they agreed 
to that, then this Democratically led Senate would be a lot more 
  Here is why these trade agreements are so important. First, they 
lower the barriers to selling American-made goods to consumers in other 
countries. On a variety of agricultural and manufactured goods, those 
tariff barriers are completely and totally eliminated, and increasing 
exports is crucial to growing the economy in States such as Kentucky, 
where nearly one-fifth of manufacturing workers depend on exports for 
their jobs.
  It isn't just manufacturing that will benefit. America's service and 
technological sectors--where we are global leaders--will gain greater 
access to these foreign markets and strong assurances that the legal 
environment will not change to disadvantage U.S. firms. So passing 
these trade agreements will mean more U.S. exports and more U.S. jobs.
  The total value of exports just from my own State of Kentucky 
currently totals more than $19 billion. With these trade agreements, 
that number will only grow, increasing demand for Kentucky-made goods 
even more. What is more, the vast majority of Kentucky companies that 
export goods overseas--80 percent of them--are small- and medium-sized 
  So the question is, Do we want small businesses in Kentucky and other 
States finding new customers for their goods in these growing economies 
or do we want to cede those customers to other countries that are only 
too happy to exploit the advantages they had before today?
  These agreements are good news for American businesses looking to 
expand the market for their goods, and they are good news for all the 
American workers who benefit when those businesses are able to compete 
on a level playing field with workers in other countries.
  While we have waited to pass these agreements, America's competitors 
overseas have increased their share of the markets in Panama, in 
Colombia and in South Korea and operated without the barriers American 
job creators have faced prior to tonight. Today, we are leveling the 
playing field, and when the playing field is level, we know American 
workers and American businesses and farmers will come out on top. They 
just needed us to clear the way.
  Personally, I have never voted against a free-trade agreement, and I 
hope we will consider others in the near future.
  Now that we have finally finished the business of the last 
administration's trade efforts, President Obama needs to think about 
what the trade agenda of his administration is going to be moving 
forward. Will he let America fall behind our competitors or will he 
embrace a proactive free-trade agenda that he knows will help create 
jobs here at home and project American influence around the world? For 
our part, Senate Republicans are ready to work with him on an even more 
robust trade agenda, one which involves reauthorizing a stronger TPA 
and which helps him help the economy in a bipartisan way, just as we 
are doing tonight.
  This is a very important vote. It shows that the two parties can, in 
fact, work together to help American businesses create jobs, and I hope 
it leads to a lot more of the same.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. H.R. 3080, H.R. 3079, H.R. 3078, having been 
received from the House, are each considered to have been read three 
  The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on the passage of H.R. 3080.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Sanders), 
is necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
Vermont (Mr. Sanders) would vote ``no.''
  Mr. KYL. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 83, nays 15, as follows:

[[Page S6451]]

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 161 Leg.]


     Brown (MA)
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)


     Brown (OH)

                             NOT VOTING--2

  The bill (H.R. 3080) was passed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on passage of H.R. 
  The Senate will be in order.
  Who yields time? The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, what is the regular order?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Two minutes of debate equally divided.
  Mr. BAUCUS. I thank the Chair.
  Mr. President, we are now voting on the Panama TPA to provide 
lucrative new opportunities for American farmers. It will level the 
playing field for American exporters and do a lot of stuff.
  Let me say this. Basically, we accept virtually all Panama's products 
duty free--virtually. Panama has significant duties on products going 
into Panama. This is a free-trade agreement. It is a freebie. I urge 
Members to vote for it so now we can export more products to Panama. 
Vote for this agreement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. I rise to speak against this agreement. This, my 
friends, is the Panama trade agreement. There are 1,600 pages. If we 
want to get rid of tariffs and level the playing field, we would pass 
about three pages of tariff schedules and build in labor rights so that 
all of us would pass this by a voice vote.
  This is 1,600 pages of rules to help insurance companies, to help 
drug companies, to undercut America's sovereignty. It is based on the 
same NAFTA trade model that doesn't work with investor-state relations. 
The same promises we hear in every trade agreement--the Clinton 
administration and the first Bush administration promised 200,000-plus 
jobs for NAFTA. We lost 600,000 jobs.
  Vote no on Panama. It is more of the same. It doesn't work for 
America and small businesses, and it doesn't work for our workers.
  I ask for a ``no'' vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I appreciate the Senator from Ohio showing 
us the big, long stack. Those are all the tariffs Panama is going to 
get rid of and reduce so we can sell more products to Panama. I 
appreciate the Senator pointing that out to us.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill having been read the third time, the 
question is, Shall the bill pass?
  Mr. BAUCUS. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. KYL. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 77, nays 22, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 162 Leg.]


     Brown (MA)
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Udall (CO)


     Brown (OH)
     Udall (NM)

                             NOT VOTING--1

  The bill (H.R. 3079) was passed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on passage of H.R. 
  Who yields time?
  The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, we are now on the Colombia Free Trade 
Agreement. I am not going to take a lot of time. I think most Senators 
know how they are going to vote.
  Let me say I have visited Colombia. I am extremely impressed with the 
progress Colombia has made. Colombia was a failed state, a failed 
country about 10 years ago. With America's Plan Colombia and the 
assistance we have given, the narcotraffic is dramatically down, the 
labor killings are dramatically down. Clearly, we don't want one labor 
member killed or anyone killed in Colombia. But the fact is there is 
tremendous progress in Colombia. Colombia is so important to America's 
geopolitical future and to South America. If we cut and run, Colombia 
is going to run away from the United States. We will not be trusted. 
They will go to other countries, including Venezuela, China, and so 
  I urge my colleagues who are on the fence--who are on the fence--to 
vote for this because that is a vote for the future. The glass is half 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Who yields time? The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. President, this is the same story. This is 
Panama's agreement, but Colombia's is even longer--hundreds and 
hundreds of pages of rules.
  I admire the Colombian people. They are our allies, but the Colombian 
Government not so much. Colombia remains the most dangerous place in 
the world to be a trade unionist. There were 23 trade unionists killed 
in 2011, and 51 were killed in 2010. What is happening to them is 
working. Over the past 20 years, unionization rates in Colombia have 
been cut in half.
  When you threaten trade unionists, when you actually murder them, of 
course, unionization rates are going to go down. The Labor Action Plan 
commits the Colombian Government to get better, but what we are doing 
by a ``yes'' vote is rewarding promises, as we always do in trade 
agreements. But we are doing nothing to establish and enforce concrete 
  If you care about human rights, if you care about workers having the 
ability to freely organize and collectively bargain, you will vote no 
on the Colombian trade agreement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to 
be a sufficient second.
  The bill having been read the third time, the question is, Shall the 
bill pass?
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. KYL. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?

[[Page S6452]]

  The result was announced--yeas 66, nays 33, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 163 Leg.]


     Brown (MA)
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Udall (CO)


     Brown (OH)
     Udall (NM)

                             NOT VOTING--1

  The bill (H.R. 3078) was passed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I think this is a great day. It shows 
America is moving forward, is forward-leaning, forward-looking. I thank 
the countries with whom we have reached these agreements. They, too, 
have shown courage. I hope this is a good model we can pursue in the 
  In that vein, I would like to thank some people who worked extremely 
hard on this agreement. They are members of my staff, beginning with my 
chief trade person, Amber Cottle; Mike Smart, Hun Quach, Chelsea 
Thomas, Gabriel Adler, Rory Murphy, Danielle Fidler, Sarah Babcock, and 
Jane Beard.
  I also very much thank the staff who works for my good friend and 
colleague, Senator Hatch, beginning especially with Everett Eissenstat. 
We have been a real team, and I believe very strongly that not much is 
accomplished in this body if you try to go it alone, if you try to do 
it by yourself. Rather, much is accomplished with teamwork and working 
together, and I thank very much my team, and very much I thank the team 
from Senator Hatch. It is nice to see Everett over there nodding his 
head. He knows teamwork really works.
  Mr. President, I thank you, also, very much.