Washington, D.C., October 12, 2011 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), a pro-trade group which represents America’s top global companies before the U.S. government and around the world, welcomed today’s approval by the House and Senate of U.S. free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea and Panama.
“The business community is pleased that Congress moved on all the agreements in one concerted effort, demonstrating bipartisan support for trade,” stated USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “These agreements will strengthen U.S. competitiveness by opening up three important trading partners for more U.S. exports, supporting new jobs at home. We hope they signal the beginning of a more ambitious trade and investment agenda to grow our economy.”
Mr. Robinson said approval sent an important message to countries around the world that the U.S. would not shrink from its international commitments or global leadership. “The United States must be in the vanguard of efforts to open up markets abroad – bilaterally, in regional forums, and at the multilateral level,” he said.
“Passage of these free trade agreements will also assure countries in Latin America and Asia that the United States continues to be engaged in those regions and to support its allies,” added Mr. Robinson. “ U.S. economic and political support for Colombia, Korea and Panama will enhance our national security while bolstering our economy.”
In 2010, exports supported an estimated 9.2 million American jobs, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, and those are positions that pay well: Americans whose jobs are supported by goods exports earn between 13 and 18 percent more than the national average.
The Korea agreement alone is expected to generate significant opportunities for U.S. exports. The International Trade Commission estimates that tariff cuts will increase exports of American goods by more than $10 billion, supporting some 70,000 American jobs, to say nothing of additional opportunities brought about by the agreement’s elimination of non-tariff barriers, increased intellectual property protection and opening up of Korea’s market for American services.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.