Republican accuses White House of doing labor’s bidding on trade deals

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) is charging the Obama administration with letting trade deals “languish in limbo” at the direction of organized labor.

At a hearing Wednesday, she made a strong push for free trade, arguing that “America’s trade policies are stuck in the fax age.” 

{mosads}Bono Mack advocated for stalled agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to move forward “immediately.” 

She raised concerns that if the South Korea agreement is singularly approved this year, then the other deals may fall by the wayside. 

“It’s disingenuous for the administration to say: ‘Let’s work together to create new jobs, but not if it means passing all three trade agreements together,’ she said at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Trade subcommittee, which she chairs.

Bono Mack hearkened back to the approval of an agreement with Peru four years ago — the same year Apple released the first iPhone.

“Since then, there have been three new generations of iPhones, two iPads and several new nano iPods — but not a single free trade agreement signed into law. Not one,” she said. 

“That’s the kind of thinking that leads to a $46 billion U.S. trade deficit in January,” she said.

Bono Mack called for reinvigorating domestic manufacturing through sound trade policies.

“Let’s make ‘Made in America’ matter again by actually increasing jobs through expanded exports and trade,” she said.

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