Rep. Kelly Supports Extension of US-Korea Civil Nuclear Agreement

Sep 18, 2013 Issues: Energy

WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), a co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, entered the following statement into the congressional record today in support of H.R. 2449, which would extend the current United States–Republic of Korea (South Korea) Section 123 agreement for civil nuclear energy cooperation for two years while both countries finalize a long-term successor to the agreement. The legislation was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives on September 17, 2013.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2449, a bipartisan bill to extend the current U.S.-Korea civil nuclear agreement for two years.

“This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea alliance. Over the decades, South Korea has become a key U.S. ally in Asia and we stand shoulder to shoulder in political, strategic, military, cultural, and other issues.

“One of these crucial issues is energy.  This extension will allow the U.S. and Korea to enter into a new era of energy partnership.

“The current nuclear cooperation agreement is due to expire in March 2014 and its prompt extension is vital to avoid trade disruptions.

“It is critical that we uphold the reputation of the U.S. as a stable and reliable trading partner, in light of the energy industry’s long-lead items and use of long-term contracts for nuclear components, fuel and services.

“Ultimately this is about jobs: red, white, and blue American jobs.  Billions of dollars in U.S. exports and thousands of U.S. jobs are at stake if we fail.

“This is about jobs for U.S. companies such as Westinghouse, which is headquartered in Cranberry, PA, in my own district.  Westinghouse, which employs about 9000 employees in the U.S., has been a leader in energy cooperation with Korea for nearly four decades.

“I urge my colleagues to vote for this important legislation. Thank you Mr. Speaker and I yield back.”