Good for Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., for pushing for the approval of trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. The agreements were reached during the Bush administration but have been held up by labor concerns and by the GOP’s defunding of a program that helps workers and companies negatively affected by trade deals. But as Roberts noted last week, the delay is causing U.S. businesses and producers to lose out. “Other countries are not waiting for the U.S. to get into the game,” he said. “They are enacting trade agreements without the United States. It is not without consequences. For the folks on the farm, export markets are critical to their bottom line.” The Kansas Farm Bureau estimates that the three agreements would increase total direct exports by $129.5 million for Kansas agriculture producers. Kansas planemakers also stand to benefit from the agreements. “The bottom line,” Roberts said, “is U.S. companies must be able to compete in foreign markets to survive and grow.”
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