Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Breakthrough on Korea Trade Agreement

The U.S.-Korea FTA Business Coalition welcomed the announcement today by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus scheduling mock mark-ups on the U.S.-Korea trade agreement and the pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, which brings these agreements one step closer to transmission to Congress for a vote.

"We applaud the Senate Finance Committee's action today to move forward with the U.S.-Korea trade agreement," said Tami Overby, vice president of the U.S. Chamber's Asia program. "The incredible potential through this agreement to support tens of thousands of American jobs, and generate significant new export opportunities for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and services providers, has brought together unprecedented business, labor, and bipartisan support."

The U.S. International Trade Commission has estimated that the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. manufactured and agricultural goods under the U.S.-Korea trade agreement would increase U.S. exports to Korea by $10 billion to $11 billion. The agreement has the potential to create as many as 280,000 jobs, according to an updated assessment of the agreement prepared by U.S. International Trade Commission economic staff at the request of the Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee on Trade.

"Four years ago this week the Korea trade agreement was signed, but since then American workers and exporters have missed out on important opportunities to boost their competitive edge in Korea," said Overby. "With the European Union-Korea free trade agreement set to take effect this Friday, we cannot afford to delay any longer. We urge Members of the Senate Finance Committee to support this agreement so that Congress can approve it before the August recess to ensure that U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and consumers do not fall further behind as our global competitors move forward without us."

The U.S.-Korea FTA Business Coalition is a broad-based organization of nearly 1,000 U.S. businesses and trade associations, which includes the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, co-chaired by Boeing, Chevron, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Pfizer, that are working together to secure approval by Congress of the U.S.-Korea FTA. The U.S.-Korea Business Council serves as Coalition secretariat.

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers: Restoring and Reauthorizing Trade Adjustment Assistance
The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement: More American Jobs, Faster Economic Recovery Through Exports
Benefits of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement
Benefits of the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement

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