U.S. Representative Mike Kelly Introduces Legislation to Urge Passage of Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement

May 12, 2011

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

       Contact: Julia Thornton

May 12, 2011

       202-525-0182

 

U.S. Representative MikeKelly Introduces Legislation to Urge Passage of Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement

 

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) introduced a resolution urging President Obama to formally submit the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to Congress for immediate consideration and enactment. Representative Kelly’s legislation, H. RES. 266, urges prompt implementation of KORUS through legislative procedures set forth in the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2002. Originally signed in June 2007 and later modified in December 2010, KORUS removes obstacles to free and fair trade with South Korea by reducing tariffs and other non-tariff barriers imposed by South Korea on U.S. exporters. Representative Kelly issued the following statement:

“While countries from around the world have moved closer to finalizing free trade agreements with South Korea, America has sat on the sidelines, bickering about which play to make instead of getting in the game.

“We can’t compete in the global market if we keep tying our hands, sacrificing progress for the sake of protectionism. The only one to lose in this scenario is America and the American worker.

“As the tenth largest exporter in the U.S., Pennsylvania’s businesses exported $34.8 billion in goods in 2010 alone, and in 2008 roughly 285,000 jobs in Pennsylvania were related to the export industry. KORUS will only work to expand our exports, especially in key sectors such as chemicals, steel, machinery, beef, dairy, and poultry. KORUS will create tens of thousands of jobs that our nation and the Commonwealth terribly need, and the time to act is now.”

Last week, South Korea ratified its free trade agreement with the European Union, putting this agreement on schedule for an effective date of July 1.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warns that 345,000 U.S. jobs are at risk of being lost if this agreement, and other major agreements that South Korea is aggressively pursuing, go into effect before KORUS.