The majority of average Americans are still painfully cognizant of the recession’s impact upon their lives. With high levels of unemployment and little disposable income, regular Americans wonder what the government has done to bail them out. Right now, Congress has a chance to improve the lives of 22,500 people while improving the economy as a whole simply by passing stalled trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that passage of all three FTAs would result in 22,500 new jobs in that sector alone. While this would not return unemployment levels to their pre-crisis lows, it would drastically, immediately change the lives of both the 22,500 hired as well as the approximately 67,500 people who depend upon them. By opening these markets, Congress would directly improve the financial, physical and emotional well-being of 90,000 Americans.
Albeit in a less dramatic manner, the passage of these trade agreements benefits the entire nation. The American Farm Bureau estimates passage of these agreements would generate an additional 2.5 billion dollars in the U.S. economy through agricultural trade alone. If Congress is willing to fight tooth and nail over cutting a few billion dollars from current spending, actually growing the national economy should be a high priority.