Senator Welcomes President's Commitment to U.S. - South Korea Free Trade Agreement
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today welcomed President Obama's commitment to move the U.S. -- South Korea Free Trade Agreement forward. The Obama administration's efforts mark an important step toward securing a $1 trillion market for U.S. exporters, so that U.S. exporters don't lose out to the European Union, which just last month initialed a similar free trade agreement with South Korea.
"Time is of the essence. For decades, the Asia-Pacific region has been an engine for growth in the United States and around the world, and we need to move as quickly as possible to make sure this growth continues," Cantwell said. "I am confident President Obama will keep the momentum going toward a ratified U.S. -- South Korea Free Trade Agreement. There is no question that Congress must work with the President to get this done."
South Korea is the seventh largest trading partner of the United States. With the enactment of the free trade agreement, U.S. exports to South Korea would increase by $10 billion to $12 billion a year, creating more jobs for Americans at home. Almost two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports would be immediately duty free in South Korea, and 95 percent of two-way trade in consumer and electronic goods would become duty-free within three years. According to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, failure to implement the U.S. -- South Korea Free Trade Agreement could result in the loss of 345,017 U.S. jobs.