The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statements of Support for the U.S-Korea Trade Agreement

Below please see statements of support for the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement from various elected officials, the business community, and advocacy groups.

Elected Officials

Representative Steny Hoyer

“I’m pleased to hear the Obama Administration’s announcement that it has reached a deal on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. This is an important step forward to expand the reach of American exports, which will help create more American jobs. It also helps strengthen our ties to a dependable democratic ally that fosters prosperity and stability in Asia and enhances our economic and national security. The FTA also includes important changes to ensure that workers’ rights and the environment are protected.” [Representative Steny Hoyer, 12/03/2010]

Representative Dave Camp

“This is a big win for American employers and workers. I want to thank the President and his negotiating team for working closely with me to reduce the barriers our domestic auto industry faces today and get the best deal possible. The agreement concluded today will give meaningful market access to U.S. auto companies and support good-paying jobs in the United States. Not only will this agreement ensure that job-creating U.S. exports are competitive in this vital market, it will – along with other ongoing trade talks in the region – provide us with a critical counterbalance to China’s growing influence… I look forward to working, on a bipartisan basis and with the Administration, to implement this agreement.” [Representative Dave Camp, 12/03/2010]

Representative Sander Levin

“The changes announced to the U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) today are a dramatic step toward changing from a one-way street to a two-way street for trade between the U.S. and South Korea.  These changes represent an important opportunity to break open the Korean market for U.S. businesses and workers and boost American manufacturing jobs, particularly in the automotive sector… I support today’s agreement.  It is important for American manufacturing and American jobs.  It is also an important step toward a global rules-based trade system.” [Representative Sander Levin, 12/03/2010]

Representative Allyson Schwartz

“President Obama’s announcement that a deal has been reached on the proposed trade agreement with Korea is an important step in strengthening the U.S. economy. South Korea is one of the United States’ largest trading partners and closest allies in the region. This agreement will strengthen our relationship and bolster the U.S. economy by expanding export of U.S. products and creating jobs here at home.” [Representative Allyson Schwartz, 12/03/2010]

Representative Kevin Brady

“Today’s announcement is a critical step toward increasing American competitiveness and creating jobs here at home. South Korea is a key ally and trading partner to the United States, and this agreement will strengthen our relationship and add billions to the U.S. economy through increased exports. I look forward to working with the Administration, my colleagues in Congress, and other stakeholders to move the agreement forward as part of a robust trade agenda next year.” [Representative Kevin Brady, 12/03/2010]

Business Community

Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company

"As a global company committed to free trade, Ford Motor Company applauds the outlines of the revised U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement that were announced today.  President Barack Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk vigorously advocated the important principle of two-way trade, and the resulting agreement provides greater clarity and transparency by affirmatively addressing the issues surrounding non-tariff and tariff barriers.  These new provisions provide Ford greater confidence that we will be able to better serve our Korean customers.  We deeply appreciate the tireless efforts of the Obama Administration and Congress to improve this agreement and open the Korean auto market." [Ford Motor Company, 12/03/2010]

Thomas J. Donohue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO

“This agreement will create thousands of new jobs, advance our national goal of doubling exports in five years, and demonstrate that America is once again ready to lead on trade. The administration has done its part. Now it’s time for the new Congress to make passage of KORUS a top priority in January. We will do everything in our power to round up the votes.” [U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 12/03/2010]

Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE

“GE congratulates the U.S. and Korean governments on concluding the U.S.- Korea Free Trade Agreement.  This agreement will help create new economic opportunities for US businesses, small and large, and jobs for Americans as well as promoting broader American economic and strategic engagement in Asia.  We applaud the conclusion of the agreement and urge Congress to ratify it quickly.” [12/03/2010]

Jim McNerney, Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company and Chairman of Business Roundtable’s International Engagement Initiative

“This agreement is a U.S. jobs creator. It sets the stage for a dramatic increase in U.S. exports of manufactured goods, agricultural products and services to a dynamic and growing Korean economy. American workers, farmers and businesses all benefit when we remove barriers that prevent them from selling their products abroad. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement will do just that, and we urge Congress to make its ratification a top priority.” [Business Roundtable, 12/03/10]

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

“We applaud President Obama and President Lee for their leadership in moving forward with the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.  Their commitment will provide the needed momentum to ensure swift approval and implementation of the agreement by both governments. Implementation of this agreement with Korea will provide great opportunities for U.S. workers, businesses and farmers to increase exports and provide expanded services in this key market. We strongly support passage of this agreement… Today’s announcement is an important step in achieving the goal of doubling exports in five years, as well as helping to fuel the overall economic recovery.” [JPMorgan Chase, 12/03/2010]

Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup

“I applaud President Obama and President Lee on the tremendous leadership they've shown in reaching a final agreement on the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The FTA will bring significant economic benefits to America's financial, manufacturing, services, and farming sectors. Expanding trade and investment flows is a key driver of economic growth, and the FTA between our two counties will help to create much-needed jobs as America continues on the road to economic recovery… We look forward to the ratification and implementation of this important accord.” [Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, 12/03/2010]

Greg Slater, Director of Trade and Competition Policy at Intel Corporation

“Intel is extremely pleased with the Administration’s significant efforts to finalize the U.S./Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This FTA will greatly benefit both the U.S. and the Korean economy, leading to greater market access for many U.S. industries.  In addition, increasing exports of American goods and services helps to maintain and, even grow, jobs in the United States… We join many other businesses, large and small, across multiple industries in requesting prompt Congressional approval of this critical agreement.  Prompt approval will help the U.S. maintain its competiveness, especially as other governments like the European Union move ahead with their own trade agreements with Korea.” [Intel, 12/03/2010]

Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of ACE Limited and Business Roundtable Member

“I commend the efforts of the U.S. and Korean negotiators in reaching today’s significant milestone.  While work remains to secure congressional support for the agreement, today’s announcement represents an important step in strengthening the economies of our two countries. The FTA will reinforce America’s ties not only with South Korea but throughout Asia, produce significant potential economic benefits and create good-paying jobs here in the United States. Business Roundtable and ACE will continue to work with the Obama Administration and Congress to demonstrate the benefits of the agreement and seek legislative approval.” [Business Roundtable, 12/03/10]

Bill Toppeta, Chairman of Coalition of Service Industries and President, MetLife International

“The Coalition commends President Obama and President Lee for their leadership and extraordinary efforts to successfully overcome the challenges that have delayed consideration and enactment of the KORUS FTA. This agreement will boost exports, deepen our commercial ties with an important trading partner and ally, and generate American jobs.” [CSI, 12/03/2010]

Doug DeVos, President of Amway

“Like most companies, we support a more competitive playing field. This new trade agreement allows Amway to continue meeting aggressive growth targets, and gives a much needed boost for all export business in Michigan.” [Amway, 12/03/2010]

Peter Bowe, President of Ellicott Dredges

Although Ellicott Dredges has already enjoyed success exporting to Korea, the FTA will give U.S. manufacturers increased access to a dynamic Asian market. The KORUS FTA will help give us an advantage over foreign competitors by reducing tariffs currently placed on our products exported to Korea. This will increase our sales in Korea and grow our business in America.” [Ellicott Dredges, 12/03/2010]

Jason Speer, Vice President and General Manager of Quality Float Works, Inc.

“Adopting a free trade agreement with Korea would offer a tremendous avenue to continue our success in the global marketplace. This agreement has the potential to create tens of thousands of new American jobs and boost U.S. exports and GDP by billions of dollars." [Quality Float Works, Inc., 12/03/2010]

Dr. Stephanie A. Burns, Chairman and CEO of Dow Corning

“This is a major milestone in helping the United States regain sustainable economic strength. This agreement demonstrates the Administration’s willingness and commitment to opening new markets for American goods, boosting our exports, and leveling the playing field for American workers.” [Dow Corning, 12/03/2010]

Advocacy Groups

Harold McGraw III, Chairman of the Emergency Committee for American Trade

“ECAT applauds the leadership of the United States and South Korea that has led to this long-sought breakthrough on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA)… Eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers for farm and manufactured goods, services and investment going into Korea, will enable America to expand its commercial presence in South Korea’s large and growing marketplace and will help support and grow American companies and American jobs.  Through this FTA, America will position itself as a strong competitor throughout the vibrant Asia-Pacific region, helping to create new economic opportunities for Americans in the region… ECAT will redouble its efforts in support of passage of the FTA and commits to working with the Administration and Congress to secure its approval as early as possible in 2011.” [ECAT, 12/03/2010]

Steve Bartlett, President and CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable

“The Financial Services Roundtable commends [President Obama’s] leadership in reaching a final agreement on the U.S.-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)… The KORUS FTA will bring down barriers to the delivery of financial services, including: foreign ownership limitations, license quotas, product and service restrictions, client restrictions, non-transparent regulation, and restrictions on the cross-border supply of services. The increased access to markets abroad will provide the American financial sector with domestic job growth and help continue our economic recovery.” [The Financial Services Roundtable, 12/03/2010]

USA Poultry & Egg Export Council

“The KORUS provides a historical opportunity to increase and promote trade and gain more access for U.S. workers, farmers, and businesses to a major Asian market. As an export oriented organization, USAPEEC has always fought to guarantee the U.S. poultry and egg products fair opportunity in the global market. With KORUS approval, USAPEEC expects U.S. poultry exports to South Korea to sharply increase in the years ahead. Without it, our exporters could lose this important and growing market to our competitors.” [USAPEEC, 12/03/2010]

Bill Reinsch, National Foreign Trade Council President

“The KORUS FTA has long been a policy priority of the U.S. business community, and the NFTC commends U.S. and Korean negotiators’ commitment to resolving market access issues with respect to autos. The FTA will play a critical role in strengthening our economic partnership with Korea, as well as our decades-long strategic alliance.” [NFTC, 12/03/2010]

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association

“The breakthrough achieved today by US and Korean negotiators paves the way for this vital trade pact to be sent to, and approved by Congress. CEA represents over 2000 of the world’s most cutting edge technology companies, two thirds of which are engaged in international trade.  This agreement is vital for U.S. businesses to remain competitive and to create American jobs which are the source of our innovation.” [CEA, 12/03/2010]

Dirk Kempthorne, President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers

“ACLI enthusiastically welcomes the announcement and is fully supportive of quick Congressional consideration and passage of this agreement. KORUS represents an important opportunity for American businesses and offers great promise for the life insurance industry. It should be implemented promptly. ACLI thanks President Obama for his continued support of this vital agreement and looks forward to working with Congress on a swift adoption.” [ACLI, 12/03/2010]

John Engler, President of the National Association of Manufacturers

“Manufacturers congratulate President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk for their tireless efforts to reach this agreement, which is critical for manufacturers in America and means jobs, jobs and jobs.  It was important to manufacturers to improve the auto provision, and we are pleased to see it has been addressed. We are anxious to work with the Administration to get this agreement to Congress for action.” [NAM, 12/03/2010]

Tim Ryan, President and CEO of SIFMA

“Today’s agreement on a U.S-Korea free trade agreement underscores the United States’ commitment to furthering economic growth and opportunity by reducing the barriers that deter competition and investment.  Trade agreements such as this are an economic win-win-fueling local industries and economies as well as presenting new opportunities for investors… When ratified it will be one of the most significant bilateral trade pacts for the U.S. securities industry since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.” [SIFMA, 12/03/2010]

Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation

“The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased the U.S. and Korean governments have come to an agreement that will allow the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement to move forward. We are optimistic that what has been agreed to will allow the FTA to reach the steps of Congress for passage. Farm Bureau has been a strong advocate for passage of the agreement and urges President Obama to send the implementing language to Capitol Hill as soon as possible.” [American Farm Bureau Federation, 12/03/2010]

Dean Garfield, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council

“This is a huge win for America’s economy at a time when momentum is badly needed. It will result in job creation, increased competitiveness and will help set a new standard for generations to come… It’s a win for policymakers, business, and above all, the American people.” [ITIC, 12/03/2010]

Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the MPAA

“We commend Presidents Obama and Lee for making the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement a significant foreign policy priority and working bilaterally to advance this initiative… This agreement is a victory for the U.S. motion picture and television industry and the creative men and women whose livelihoods depend on it, and we support its prompt ratification.” [MPAA, 12/03/2010]

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