The Senate Finance Committee is meeting Wednesday morning to review the Administration's 2010 trade agenda. United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk will testify before the committee. Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says he has some questions for Ambassador Kirk concerning the non-science based measures being imposed by other countries.
"As an example we have China banning U.S. pork due to alleged safety risks posed by H1N1," Grassley said. "We ought to know what the outlook is for getting our products into these countries where they're not using science as a basis for keeping our products out."
Grassley says he'll also address the importance of implementing the pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
"Without these agreements the United States is at a disadvantage," Grassley said. "It is vital to the economy as a whole including agriculture to get these agreements passed in order to level the playing field for U.S. farmers and for the promotion of all of our exports. Our trade agreements with these three countries, once fully implemented, would result in almost $2.4 billion in increased agricultural sales."
Grassley says the Administration is finally talking about the important role international trade can play in the creation of good paying jobs here in the U.S. He says the U.S. needs to increase trade and the most effective way to do that is to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to our exports. Grassley says that's exactly what these three agreements would do.