U.S. Chamber Applauds Announcement of U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement Implementation

February 21, 2012

WASHINGTON D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded the administration and the U.S. Trade Representative today for their announcement that the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) will enter into force on March 15, 2012. The landmark trade agreement that would support more than 70,000 export-related jobs was ratified last October through a bipartisan vote in Congress.

“The U.S. business community commends our negotiators for staying the course on implementing a groundbreaking trade deal with South Korea that will create American jobs and boost American competitiveness,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “We will now be able to play on a level playing field in South Korea’s dynamic market and start creating tens of thousands of new jobs here at home.”

Upon entry into force, tariffs will be eliminated on nearly 80% of U.S. exports of industrial products and nearly two-thirds of U.S. exports of agricultural products to South Korea. It will also break down non-tariff barriers and strengthen transparency and intellectual property protections in South Korea so that American companies can compete fairly in the South Korean market.

“It is now up to the business community, including the hundreds of thousands of small and medium sized enterprises that make up the backbone of the U.S. economy, to take full advantage of this agreement to grow American exports,” Donohue said. “This agreement is the foundation for moving bipartisan, job-creating policies forward, and we urge the administration to build on the positive momentum of the South Korea trade agreement to continue opening up markets abroad.”

The Chamber is continuing to advocate for implementation of the trade agreements with Colombia and Panama on a commercially sound basis as soon as possible.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.