Release Date: Dec 03, 2010Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber’s Donohue Urges New Congress to Swiftly Pass Korea-U.S. FTA
Says Pact Will Create Jobs, Boost the Economy, and Reassert American Leadership
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The new Congress should make passage of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (KORUS) an immediate and urgent priority, according to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue, who welcomed the news that negotiators have effectively addressed lingering concerns regarding bilateral trade.
“This agreement will create thousands of new jobs, advance our national goal of doubling exports in five years, and demonstrates that America is once again ready to lead on trade,” Donohue said. “The administration has done its part. Now it’s time for the new Congress to make passage of KORUS a top priority in January. We will do everything in our power to round up the votes.”
Donohue warned that failure to pass the agreement promptly could put America at a significant competitive disadvantage in Korea, the United States’ 7th largest trading partner. He pointed out that the European Union’s FTA with Korea goes into effect July 1, 2011.
Donohue noted the agreement would be a boon to job creation and the economy. According to the U.S. government, implementing KORUS would boost U.S. GDP by nearly $12 billion and generate nearly $11 billion in U.S. merchandise exports. It would generate an additional boost to U.S. exports to other countries of more than $5 billion. These figures do not include the potential for growth of the U.S. services industry. A recent U.S. Chamber study found that 345,000 American workers stand to lose their jobs if the agreement is not implemented while other countries’ FTAs with Korea enter into force.
“In poll after poll and again at the ballot box last month, the American people made it clear that their top priority is jobs—and this agreement is all about American jobs,” Donohue said. “Jobs we will gain if we pass it, and jobs we will lose if we don’t.”
Donohue praised the administration for completing the difficult negotiations. “This is a great success for the administration, the economy, and the American people. We should build on this success by passing the pending FTAs with Colombia and Panama, revitalizing the Doha Round, and advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
“U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Korea Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon should be commended for their diligence in continuing to press this agreement forward, despite long odds and intense opposition,” said Tami Overby, vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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