By Jay Heflin - 08/24/10 03:35 PM EDT
"[Our] nation faces higher tariffs against our goods than nearly all of our trade competitors," the senator said in prepared remarks. "Trade is a critical issue to create and maintain jobs."
Crapo will host a roundtable on trade Wednesday in Boise, Idaho. The event will allow leaders from Washington to discuss trade with local business leaders.
Representatives from the USDA, Commerce, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are expected to attend the meeting.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in June said progress was being made on the trade pact with South Korea, despite some concerns that ratifying the agreement could disadvantage automotive manufacturers and beef ranchers in the U.S.
"We look forward to finalizing ways to address these concerns, level the playing field for U.S. workers and producers in the key sectors of autos and beef, and deliver to Americans the jobs and economic opportunity this agreement can bring," Kirk said in prepared remarks in June.
Crapo said implementing the pact would "increase exports of U.S. goods to Korea by $11 billion and expand markets for two-thirds of our agricultural base." He also called on Congress to bring the other pending agreements forward and pointed to a resolution by Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) that would immediately implement the pacts.
Minnick introduced the resolution shortly before the House adjourned for the August recess. It has seven co-sponsors.
Crapo is the ranking member on the Senate Finance's trade subcommittee.