Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 12:27 am | Fair 64º

 
 
 
 

Chambers of Commerce Alliance Praises Passage of Free Trade Agreements

Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Gallegly helped pass all three while Rep. Capps voted no

In light of Congress passing three free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia this week, the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties is praising the bipartisan effort as a jump-start to its region’s stagnant economy.

“These free trade agreements took five years for Congress to act and could not have come at a better time for our region’s job seekers,” alliance board chairwoman Suzanne Scar said.

The Chambers of Commerce Alliance, which consists of 11 leading chambers of commerce between Goleta and Thousand Oaks, was part of a broad coalition of California business groups in support of the free trade agreements. An estimated quarter of California’s economy is directly tied to international trade, much of which occurs in Ventura County’s Port of Hueneme.

According to its Web site, the Port of Hueneme handles $7 billion in cargo values each year, pumping $650 million into Ventura County’s economy and accounting for 4,500 jobs.

“The Chamber Alliance praises the efforts of the Bush and Obama administrations for negotiating these trade pacts, and we praise Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Elton Gallegly for voting for each trade agreement,” Scar said.

“At the same time, we are disappointed that Congresswoman Lois Capps, whose district includes the Port of Hueneme, voted against all three. We hope that she prioritizes job creation in her district in the coming months.”

— Brendan Huffman is executive director of the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties.

 

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