If Republican lawmakers have their way, Congress will ratify three free-trade agreements: with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. But many of those same legislators would leave hundreds of thousands of workers from California to Michigan hurt by increased imports or by shifts in production abroad without jobs or adequate income support, training and job search and relocation allowances.
Trade has been a significant driver of economic growth, and expanding exports is important for job creation, but trade also comes with painful dislocations that threaten the livelihoods of many workers and their families.
This is why Congress and the White House must ensure that the passage of the three pending free-trade agreements is accompanied by the renewal of the May 2009 Trade Adjustment Assistance package, which provides all workers with these essential services they need to get back on their feet.
The above excerpt was originally published in Roll Call.
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