NAM says Korea is a vital supply chain partner
December 05, 2010 - SCMR Editorial
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), which has been largely critical to current administration, issued a note of praise today for its U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
“Manufacturers congratulate President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk for their tireless efforts to reach this agreement, which is vital for manufacturers in America and means jobs,” said NAM President John Engler.
While he noted that it was important to manufacturers to improve the supply chain auto provision, Engler was pleased to see it has been addressed.
“We are anxious to work with the Administration to get this agreement to Congress for action,” he added.
Executives with the Washington DC-based Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), told SCMR earlier this year that Korea was “the one area where perishable commodities might see some benefit is the advancement of free trade agreements.”
NAM agrees, ?noting that this agreement will provide a broad scope of opportunities and generate billions of dollars annually in new U.S. exports to Korea. NAM said that nearly 60 percent of exports expected to go to Korea will be manufactured goods from a wide range of industrial sectors in every state in U.S.
“It is important to point out that this trade agreement will eliminate tariffs on 95 percent of consumer and industrial products between the two countries within three years,” said Engler. “This is one of the largest bilateral trade deals the U.S. has ever undertaken. Korea represents a manufactured goods import market of $250 billion. Without this agreement, U.S. exporters only have 11 percent of the market – and face a higher cost of doing business.
NAM and other shippers have argued that the European Union, Japan and other competitors are in a race to negotiate free trade agreements with Korea and various nations throughout the world, which could put U.S. manufacturing companies at a significant disadvantage.
“Data continue to show that the U.S. benefits greatly from free trade agreements – for the past three years, we have had a trade surplus with our free trade agreement partners,” said Engler.
The pending deal with Korea paves the way for the passage of additional agreements, particularly the Colombia and Panama agreements, and moving quickly on the Trans Pacific Partnership. ??
“This agreement also shows the U.S. commitment to intensify its strategic role in Asia and increase its engagement in that important part of the world,” Engler said.
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