Chamber urges Congress to Pass U.S.-Korea FTA
Negotiations were completed this weekend on the largest Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be signed by the United States since NAFTA in 1994. This eighth session of negotiations on the United States - Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) wrapped up just in time for U.S. negotiators to meet an April 2nd deadline to submit a deal to President Bush and the United States Congress for approval under the President Bush’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).
“The Greater Dallas Chamber commends both the U.S. and Korean negotiators on reaching this landmark deal under such a tight deadline,” commented Victor Almeida, member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and chairman of the International Business Council of the Greater Dallas Chamber. “Trade between the Dallas/Fort Worth region and South Korea continues to expand reaching $4.98 billion in 2006 – making South Korea DFW’s second largest trading partner. DFW businesses stand to gain from the successful passage of this FTA. As such, the Chamber urges Congress to pass the KORUS FTA in the next 90-days.”
South Korea has been a strong ally of the United States for years and both sides were able to make key concessions in this agreement relating to the following industries: beef, automobiles, agriculture, industrial goods and consumer products, textiles, investor protections, services, intellectual property rights protections, labor rights and environmental stewardship.
Under the TPA, U.S. negotiators were required to submit a final agreement to Congress by April 2 in order to meet the minimum 90-day Congressional review period prior to a simple yea-nay vote without amendments. The Presidential Trade Promotion Authority expires on July 1st. President Bush has requested that Congress extend this fast-track trade agreement approval program.
A successful pact would result in significant benefits for both U.S. and South Korean businesses:
Lower South Korea's average applied tariff of 11.2% and improve the competitiveness of U.S. goods.
Lower South Korea's average applied tariff of 52% on agriculture products to increase access to the Korean market for U.S. farmers. In 2005, U.S. exporters shipped $2.5 billion in agricultural products to South Korea.
Lower tariff and non-tariff constraints on industries in which U.S. companies are highly competitive including industrial goods, telecommunications, financial and pharmaceutical sectors.
What makes this FTA different?
Urge your representatives today to pass the United States – Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement.
The Chamber's International Business Development division seeks to unite and engage the region's international business community to promote economic growth. Chamber volunteers guide our team with respect to our programming, the generation of global trade and investment opportunities, and our positions on legislation impacting area businesses’ ability to compete globally.
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