Letter Supporting Conclusion of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement
Sent to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
March 7, 2007
Dear Leader Reid:
Our organizations want to express our strong support for the conclusion of a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the Republic of Korea.
We are now at a critical moment in the FTA negotiations with South Korea. We understand that U.S. and Korean negotiators made important progress in the recently concluded seventh round of FTA negotiations. It is important that U.S. negotiators intensify efforts to complete their negotiation of a commercially meaningful agreement by the end of the eighth round of FTA talks this month.
We remain focused on the broad benefits of a comprehensive agreement, and its importance to U.S. workers, consumers and businesses, including manufacturers, service providers, and farmers. A strong agreement with South Korea that addresses tariff and non-tariff barriers will give the United States a preferential position in the world's seventh largest economy—one in which our exports grew over 17 percent last year—and improve our country's ability to compete in the dynamic Northeast Asia regional economy. An FTA will stimulate U.S. exports to South Korea to the benefit of U.S. businesses and workers. It will also reinforce our important partnership with South Korea, one of our strongest allies in advancing global security, and further our shared values of open markets in the region and internationally.
While many critical issues remain to be resolved, we are still hopeful that the negotiations can be successfully concluded in the next round so that Congress may consider this agreement. Our organizations are firmly committed to working with Congress and the Administration to secure a successful U.S.-Korea FTA.
Thomas J. Donohue
President and Chief Executive Officer
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S.-Korea Business Council
National Association of Manufacturers
John J. Castellani