Missouri Senators weigh in on trade deals

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Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt each weighed in on the proposed free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that are due for Congressional approval next week.

Both chambers are expected to take up the long-delayed bills next week, which would relax trade regulations with the three countries. The trade bills were signed during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration held them up for further negotiation.

Blunt spoke in favor of the bills, saying they are essential for growing manufacturing export jobs in the United States.

“One of the easiest ways to create more American jobs is to allow our products to go to other countries to be sold there,” Blunt said.

McCaskill also spoke favorably about the trade bills, but had misgivings about one of the counties. She said that the Colombian trade deal may have more trouble making it through Congress due to human rights violations by that nation’s government.

“I think Korea and Panama will be ratified,” she said. “I think the one that will be most problematic is Colombia because of some of the human rights violations that have been brought to the attention of Congress.”

The bills are scheduled to be voted on in the Senate Wednesday.