Grassroots effort is no substitute for true leadership on trade

It is unfortunate indeed, that a populist movement seems necessary now to advance a trade agenda that should be led by the Obama Administration.

By ·

Earlier this week the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joined by Korean Ambassador to the United States Han Duk-soo and local partners, visited Orlando to meet with the state’s government and business leaders to continue its nationwide grassroots effort to promote the job-creating benefits of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).

It is unfortunate indeed, that a populist movement seems necessary now to advance a trade agenda that should be led by the Obama Administration. Can this be another “tea party” movement that will further complicate trade policies in the future? And if it’s just another reaction to counter the influence of U.S. organized labor, can it really succeed when the President is scurrying for political cover?

The Chamber doesn’t seem to care:

“The way to meet the goal of doubling exports over the next five years is by passing this agreement,” said Tami Overby, vice president for Asia Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. “The Korea FTA is a no-cost way to create jobs and grow the economy.”

As readers of this column know, we have long been trade advocates. It is worth noting that A U.S. Chamber study warned that failing to act on the Korea FTA could cause Florida’s Gross Domestic Product (economic output) to drop by $2.1 billion. More startling, Florida could lose 19,417 jobs, while nationwide the job loss could balloon to 345,017.

Like LM, The U.S. Chamber has been calling for action on the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Chamber leaders observe that if Congress does act and passes the Korea FTA, a congressional study shows that it will benefit the Florida economy and create 280,000 new jobs nationwide. It will immediately open new access for the state’s goods and services into Korea’s $1 trillion economy by eliminating Korean duties on Florida’s major agricultural products, such as frozen orange juice. Similarly, Florida’s exports of medical equipment and manufactured goods will benefit from greater market access and fewer regulatory barriers.

Korea has already successfully completed a free trade agreement with the European Union that is expected to be implemented by July 1, 2011. Korea’s FTA negotiations with Canada are also in the advanced stages.
“More than 19,000 jobs in Florida are at risk if this trade accord with Korea isn’t approved,” Overby said. “The world is moving forward with free trade agreements and the United States has to get into the game if they want to see the benefits.”

For related stories click here.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Making the Case For: An Automated Dimensioning Solution
Read our new Making the Case download to learn how a growing number of shippers are managing these market pressures and realizing significant ROI from investments with the help of automated dimensioning solutions.
Download Today!
From the December 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued expansion of domestic and international markets. Economists, meanwhile, say shippers can expect revenue growth in transport verticals to remain in the 3%-plus range.
2018 Customs & Regulations Update:10 observations on the “digital trade transformation”
Moore on Pricing: Freight settlement and your TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2018 Rate Forecast
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...

2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...
26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...