On May 10, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations respectively, urged the Administration in a letter to move forward on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
The Senators highlighted the great missed opportunity inaction on this FTA represents and pointed out that our competitors are quick to take advantage.
Through inaction, the United States will cede Korea’s vast markets to other countries, a luxury that we cannot afford. In 2004, China displaced the United States as Korea’s number one trading partner. Recently, the European Union and India signed agreements with South Korea to lower trade barriers. As these countries effectively gain preferential access compared to American products, the United States risks missing significant opportunities, while other countries’ economies grow and create jobs from trade expansion.
Shopfloor made this exact point yesterday and has long called for swift action on this, as well as the Colombia and Panama FTAs, that have languished in Congress for more than a year.
In his statement, Senator Kerry added, “This step could be a significant part of the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years to create well-paying American jobs.”
That won’t happen unless we open foreign markets to our goods and services.
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