The US-Korea FTA would open markets for U.S. goods, benefit consumers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Barack Obama is set to meet with South Korea’s President Lee Myung-Bak to discuss several issues, including the stalled free trade pact between the two countries. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was negotiated, from the spring of 2006 through March 2007 but has yet to be passed by Congress.
The agreement would abolish 95 percent of tariffs on all industrial and consumer goods within three years, and remove most of the lingering 5 percent within a decade. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, today South Korea is the world’s 10th-largest economy and America’s seventh-largest trading partner.
“It is time to implement the US-Korea FTA. This agreement benefits taxpayers by increasing product choice and lowering prices,” stated Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, “A tariff is nothing more than a tax on international commerce. Since tariffs and trade barriers amount to government-imposed costs on both companies and consumers, eliminating these barriers in a free trade agreement amounts to a significant tax cut for both countries.”
The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that enacting the FTA would increase U.S. exports by $10–11.9 billion. To put this fact into another numerical perspective, the agreement would increase the countries’ $75 billion annual bilateral trade with Korea by an additional $20 billion.
“A free trade agreement with South Korea will not only create new markets for U.S. goods, but will also be an important step in maintaining security on the Korean Peninsula,” continued Norquist, “The benefits of this deal will have an important and lasting positive impact on the economies and people of both nations.”