White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has announced progress on Trade Adjustment Assistance for American workers and pending free trade agreements that will support tens of thousands of American jobs. According to Carney as a result of extensive negotiations there is now an agreement on the underlying terms for a meaningful renewal of a strengthened Trade Adjustment Assistance. The President has fought for TAA saying it's important for those American workers who lose their jobs due to increased imports or outsourcing.
Carney went on to say now is the time to move forward with TAA and the pending trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama. The White House has made TAA a requirement to move the free trade agreements to Capitol Hill.
The TAA agreement includes support for reemployment; affordable health insurance; increased training resources; less red tape; making workers whole through retroactivity; and job search and relocation assistance. Carney says the President embraces these critical elements needed to ensure that workers have the best opportunity to get good jobs that keep them in the middle class.
Before the announcement from the White House on trade the National Cattlemen's Beef Association was pointing out that other countries have continued moving forward to expand trade partnerships while the United States has been sitting on the sidelines. South Korea and Canada have agreed to conditions that would result in the resumption of beef exports from Canada to Korea. Korea reportedly will allow Canadian bone-in beef from cattle less than 30 months age. This action would officially conclude South Korea's eight-year-old ban on Canadian beef imposed subsequent to the 2003 discovery of BSE. Canadian imports may resume by the end of this year if procedural steps are completed.
NCBA President Bill Donald says while Korea reopened its markets to U.S. beef in 2008, the U.S.-South Korean FTA could be one of the most significant trade agreements in history if ratified. If implemented, Donald says the U.S. beef industry would see $150 million in new tariff benefits in the first year alone, with about $325 million in tariff reductions annually once fully implemented. On the other hand, Donald says stalling on the trade deal poses serious consequences for U.S agriculture. He says the likelihood of relinquishing U.S. agricultural export sales to other countries, such as Canada, is imminent.