Business Roundtable calls for increased trade to save economy

"To create more jobs at home, the United States must put trade policies in place to help American companies and workers stay competitive," Roundtable spokesman Gary Newman said in an audio address. 

"Yet, while other countries have been negotiating trade agreements to help their companies and workers, the United States has been sitting on the sidelines," he said. "Congress and the administration must work together to negotiate and pass trade agreements to help our workers and companies and get our economy back on track." 

Free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea await congressional action.

Canada in June enacted its free trade agreement with Colombia. The two countries yesterday engaged in technical discussions of the pact to ensure its ratification. 

South Korea is expected to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union next month, according to Seoul's trade ministry. 

Ratifying U.S. pacts, some have argued, would likely prompt renewed economic activity, since more than 38 million domestic jobs depend on trade. 

"That means more than one in every five U.S. jobs is linked to exports and imports of goods and services," Newman said, adding, "Experts agree: international trade drives job creation in America. When U.S. trade expands, U.S. jobs grow."