BOND URGES PRESIDENT OBAMA, CONGRESS TO ACT QUICKLY ON U.S-KOREA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Senator Warns Delayed Action Threatens U.S. Global Competitiveness
November 22, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kit Bond today urged President Obama to continue working closely with Korean President Lee Myung bak so that the two governments can come quickly to an agreement on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and Congress can pass it.
“The longer this agreement is delayed, the more difficult a situation the U.S. will find itself in,” said Bond. “This free trade agreement is far too important an opportunity to continue languishing while the European Union, potentially Canada, and others approve their own deals.”
Bond expressed hope that the President’s recent visit to Seoul and his commitment to complete the negotiations will bring about a final agreement, but the Senator warned that delayed action by the U.S. will present irreversible difficulties for U.S. exports to Korea.
Korea has already signed a free trade agreement with the EU set to take effect in July 2011 and others around the world are working on agreements to seize Korean market share that could otherwise be reserved for American products and services. Delayed action on this agreement, Bond warned, also threatens to diminish our nation’s overall global competitiveness.
“This agreement will protect U.S. economic interest and strengthen the strategic alliance that the U.S. and Korea have established,” said Bond. “Both Presidents must redouble their efforts to come to an agreement and the leaders of both houses of Congress must ratify it in a quick, bipartisan manner befitting such an important issue.”
As the U.S. economy remains stagnant, Bond reminded the President and his colleagues that competing countries have more than 100 preferential trade deals in the works to open new and expanding markets to their goods and services. Our failure to act, Bond stressed, is leaving U.S. farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers behind. With the election behind us, Bond expressed hope that the politicization of trade is behind us as well.
“The new Congress must renew its efforts to expand and open up new markets abroad, particularly in Asia where the most dynamic growth in this century will take place,” Bond said. “Passing the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement will signal that the United States is ready to return to leadership position on trade and create much-needed jobs based on exports here at home.”
A leading voice in the U.S. Senate for free and fair trade around the globe, Bond continues to believe a major surge in exports is critical to ending the economic recession. While the U.S. is already to world’s largest exporter, the U.S. stands to create millions of new jobs by aggressively competing in new markets abroad.
# # #