(CNN) - North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven said Saturday that free trade agreements can spur major economic growth in America, and called on President Obama to send a number of the treaties to the Senate for ratification.
“For the good of our economy – and our country – he needs to send these free trade agreements to the United States Senate for approval now, so that U.S. workers and businesses can begin to realize their benefits,” Hoeven said in the weekly Republican address.
“Free and fair trade agreements can help us create the kind of pro-jobs, pro-growth economy that will lift our nation up,” he added. “Good fiscal control and a legal tax, and regulatory environment that promotes private investment and business innovation, can help us to create jobs, grow our economy, and reduce our deficit.”
Hoeven was part of a congressional delegation to Asia in April. On Saturday, focused on the agreement signed by the United States and South Korea in December.
“The South Korean Free Trade Agreement alone will increase our nation’s exports to that country by more than $10 billion and create 280,000 American jobs,” Hoeven said.
Despite being signed by both countries, the agreement has not yet taken effect because neither Congress nor the National Assembly of South Korea has ratified it.
Despite originally receiving bipartisan support in Congress, many Democrats now want to tie its ratification to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which provides a number of services to workers who have lost work due to outsourcing. Hoeven said the two items could and should be taken up by Congress separately.