September 1, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Agriculture and Industries, Department of

McMillan Urges Obama to Push Free Trade Agreement: Says FTA Means 15,000 New Jobs for Alabama

Montgomery – Commissioner John McMillan today called upon President Obama to quickly resolve the differences with Congressional leadership and submit the three Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea to Congress for ratification.

“With an increasingly competitive global economy, it is vital for Alabama’s economy and our farmers that these agreements are sent to Congress by the President and then Congress has fast track authority to ratify. The President cannot have it both ways by calling on Congress to pass the three trade agreements but at the same time has not submitted them for consideration,” said Commissioner McMillan of the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries.

“We cannot afford to lose any more time and we cannot afford to lose opportunities to gain new markets for Alabama’s agricultural products. Exports create jobs and my goal is to showcase Alabama’s agricultural exports to meet the demands of these and many other foreign markets.”

Commissioner McMillan will be speaking on the importance of agriculture in exports and the need for ratification of the Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea during his appearances in September and October.

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(see below.)
 


John McMillan
Commissioner
STATE OF ALABAMA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRIES

1445 Federal Drive ~ Montgomery, Alabama 36107-1123

 

August 31, 2011

President Barack Obama
Office of the President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

On behalf of Alabama’s large agricultural community, ranchers, farmers, and exporters I respectfully urge you to submit to Congress the Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. I understand that you are working to accommodate concerns about and renewal of the trade adjustment assistance funding and urge you to conclude this matter with Congressional leadership as soon as possible.

These trade agreements would create thousands of jobs for Alabama workers and farmers and gain new markets access for Alabama products in Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. The delays and inaction is going to be costly for Alabama as well as the nation as other countries have concluded a series of trade agreements in Latin American, for example, that will streamline exports and eliminate costly tariffs. I support the goals you outlined in your National Export Initiative to double the nation’s exports by the end of 2014. These three trade agreements level the playing field and compliment your export goals.

Columbia, Panama, and South Korea are counted as among our nation’s most reliable allies. By reinforcing business and agricultural trade with these nations, we advance strengthening our alliances and advance our nation’s security interests as well.

Mr. President, I also support your ability to fast track negotiations on the behalf of the nation so we can keep pace with our global economic competitors.

Exports provide the opportunity for Alabama businesses and farmers to create jobs and these three trade agreements once ratified will create new and sustainable jobs. For every $1 billion worth of exports, 15,000 Alabama jobs are created.

It is my hope that these agreements will be ratified and that you will exercise great care in working with Congress for the good of the United States.
 
Sincerely,

John McMillan
 
 



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