Coalition Pushes for Korean FTAMon, 24 Jan 2011 16:58:24 CST
An ad hoc coalition of agricultural and food organizations and companies has sent a letter to members of Congress urging lawmakers move to approve the free trade agreement between the United States and the Republic of Korea. Agreement on an outstanding issue with automobiles makes it possible to move the FTA agreement forward.
The coalition letter, signed by 61 groups, emphasized that other countries are moving forward with FTAs with South Korea to the detriment of the United States. The letter states: "Risks for U.S. agriculture – and they are extremely serious – arise if the KORUS FTA is not implemented. If this agreement is rejected, we stand to relinquish our export sales to countries that have implemented their own FTAs with Korea."
Once the KORUS FTA is implemented, more than 60 percent of existing import barriers will be removed immediately – this amounts to nearly 3-billion dollars in U.S. food and agricultural products. According to an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the KORUS FTA would result in 1.8 billion in additional sales to Korea, a 46 percent increase over existing sales. The coalition pointed out that the new exports would create thousands of new jobs on the farm and in rural communities and throughout the economy.
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