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United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. CROWLEY. I rise today in support of this agreement between the United States and Korea. I especially want to thank my colleague, Mr. Levin of Michigan, for his tireless efforts to improve the agreement, along with Chairman Camp and Congressman Brady of Texas in a bipartisan way.

A lot of credit for the concept of this agreement should also go to President Obama. The Bush administration was willing to submit an agreement that heavily favored Korea, but the Obama administration held out until we got a better deal--a more fair deal, a more fair agreement.

For a long time, our roadways have been home to cars named Hyundai. Now, because of this agreement, South Korean roadways will see more American cars on them. It's only right that Fords and Chevys have the same access that Hyundai has here in America. This agreement will not only break down barriers for American car manufacturers, but American services and goods, such as insurance, legal, finance, television, and movies will now be available in South Korea. Korean services companies have always had the right to operate here, but this agreement is about making sure that American companies have the same ability to operate in South Korea.

That's good news for American businesses and good news for American workers. For a State like mine, which depends so much on the service industries, it is important that we are able to export our products throughout the world. It is no secret that the number one reason to support this agreement is that it tears down barriers for U.S. exporters and will create jobs right here in the United States.

But the number two reason is just as important. I have often discussed with my Korean American constituents back in Queens and in the Bronx the importance of there being a strong South Korea. This is as much about diplomacy. This is as much about our geopolitics. South Korea is in an area of the world that is dangerous and unpredictable. America needs strong allies in this region, and this agreement acknowledges South Korea as a friend and stalwart ally of the American Government and, more importantly, of the American people. Since we stood shoulder to shoulder during the Korean war against the advancement of Communism to our joint efforts today to stop terrorism throughout the world, South Korea has been a true ally of the United States.

This agreement sends a message to countless other countries around the world that, if you want to be treated like South Korea, act like South Korea.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CROWLEY. South Korea has strong labor and environmental laws. South Korea is committed to a representative democracy, and South Korea recognizes that trade is a two-way street that must benefit Americans as well as South Koreans.

I strongly urge the passage of this agreement.


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