McConnell turns up the heat on Obama over trade

“I’m offering this amendment ... to show the world that some in Congress are ready to move forward and lower the barriers that keep American goods out of foreign countries and which deny American consumers all the benefits that come from our integration into the world economy,” said McConnell.

McConnell’s amendment would reinstate Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to the administration granting it the power to enter into trade agreements and have them considered by Congress in a clean vote without amendments.

McConnell also placed pressure on Obama to move forward on FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, which the Senate is preparing to consider, saying the White House’s lack of action was designed to appease the unions and has cost Americans dearly in jobs.

“With 14 million Americans out of work and thousands of Americans looking for opportunities to sell American-made goods around the world, we can’t afford to wait like we did on these three FTAs while the administration makes up its mind that American jobs are more important than appeasing their union allies,” he said.

McConnell will likely tack his amendment, which he said he will make a precondition for moving forward on trade, onto pending Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation.