Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the free trade agreements approved Wednesday with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea will help the U.S. economy. Grassley says the National Association of Manufacturers estimates the agreements will create 100,000 jobs, the president says it will create 255,000 jobs.
Whatever the number he says they are good-paying jobs as he says jobs in exports pay about 15% above the national average. Grassley and fellow Republican congressmen Steve King and Tom Latham voted for the agreements. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin and Democrat congressmen Leonard Boswell, Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley voted against it.
Grassley says agriculture, and especially, Iowa agriculture should benefit from the passage of the trade bills. Grassley says pork producers say the agreements will increase the cost paid by $10 per head and he says the U.S. lost a lot of market share of grain sales to Columbia. He says other countries took the market away from us.
The Democrats in the Iowa delegation say they voted against the bill because it will cause us to lose jobs. Senator Harkin says the loss in jobs outweighs the increases in agricultural trade.
By Denis Morrice, KLEM, LeMars