Florida Gov. Rick Scott was among the first Florida elected official to react to President Barack Obama's jobs speech -- and he did so even before the president made his way to the Capitol.
Scott called on Obama to send to Congress free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea "for immediate ratification, with no strings attached."
"For the past several years, U.S. companies, including many in Florida, have paid well over $3 billion in tariffs to Colombia and Panama for the privilege of exporting American products to those nations," Scott said in a statement. "Many of those dollars could have gone a long way toward more American jobs if President Obama had sent those agreements to Congress and pushed for immediate ratification. Leadership from the President on this is long overdue."
Here's what the president had to say to Congress in his speech about the free trade agreements:
"Today you passed reform that will speed up the outdated patent process, so that entrepreneurs can turn a new idea into a new business as quickly as possible," Obama said, according to prepared remarks. "That’s the kind of action we need. Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea -– while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition. If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers. I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with three proud words: 'Made in America.'"