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Unemployment gloom gets a lift with US-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Anissa Ford's picture

The latest U.S –Korea Free Trade Agreement has been welcomed, so far, by several members of the House and members of private automotive, agricultural, investment banking and technology sectors. Particularly as the nation copes with unemployment rates at close to ten percent.

The White House says the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement will provide delivery, telecommunications services, education and health care services jobs to US workers.

President Obama, in an official statement, says the pact eliminates tariffs on over 95 percent of industrial and consumer goods over the next five years. Those cuts are estimated to increase exports of American goods by $10 to $11 billion.

As the agreement moves forward, tens of thousands of American jobs should be created in other areas that will protect and enforce Korean intellectual property rights. Other positions will focus on breaking down tax related impediments that keep American exports out of Korea.

Automotive, technology, and agricultural industries primarily benefit from this latest Free Trade Agreement effort spearheaded by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Kirk is President Obama’s principal trade advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues.

Kirk returned from meetings with Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon to discuss the trade pact this week. “We’ve made substantial progress in our discussion,” Kirk said in a statement at the U.S. Trade Representative website. “It’s now time for the leaders to review this progress before we move forward.”

So far, House leaders are have made positive statements in support of the pact. Representative Steny Hoyer, (D-MD) said the deal is an “important step forward to expand the reach of American exports which will help create more jobs.”

Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company also expressed support for Kirk and the Obama administration for revising the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement that advocates “two-way trade” and “affirmatively addresses the issues surrounding non-tariff and tariff barriers." Mulally’s statement also said the new pact will give Ford increased confidence on how to “better serve their Korean customers.” Mullally praised the work of the Obama administration as “tireless.”

An open Korean market gives both small and large US businesses newer economic prospects. The pact will, according the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, create “thousands of new jobs, advance our national goal of doubling exports in five years and demonstrate that America is once again ready to lead on trade.”

Korea is described as a dynamic and growing economy which has resulted the creation of an open space for the US to increase exports there. The US-Korea Trade Agreement is said to be the largest since NAFTA.

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