Chamber Lauds Newfound Progress on Trade Agreements, Vote Imminent

A happy U.S. Chamber of Commerce has weighed in on the White House's move Monday to send three long-delayed free trade agreements (FTA's) with South Korea, Panama and Columbia -- featured as story #4 in last week's NACM eNews at www.nacm.org/enews.html -- on to Congress for what appears to be an imminent vote, applauding the action.

From U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

"'America is finally getting back in the game,' said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. 'These agreements are about creating jobs and ensuring a level playing field for trade.'

The trade accords will immediately eliminate tariffs on most U.S. exports to the three countries. Colombia currently collects $100 in tariffs on U.S. exports for every $1 the United States levies on Colombian goods, and a similar lopsidedness holds back U.S. exports to South Korea and Panama as well.

In addition to ensuring fairness and accountability, the agreements will open services markets and strengthen intellectual property rights.

The European Union-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Colombia FTA entered into force on July 1 and August 15, respectively. Korea has eliminated tariffs on more than 90% of EU goods, leading to increased sales and market share for European companies while U.S. market share has declined."

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