Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today invited Vern Squier, President of the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County (CBICC), to attend a Joint Meeting of Congress with South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak. Before the Joint Session, which comes one day after Congress passed a bill implementing the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement, Rep. Thompson and Mr. Squier discussed the importance of the agreement and its economic benefit for the Centre Region and the Commonwealth.
(Click here to watch)
The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, initially negotiated by the Bush Administration, and now supported by the Obama Administration, phases out tariffs on more than 95 percent of industrial and consumer exports within five years, reduces barriers for services, and establishes new labor and environmental enforcement standards between the United States and South Korea. According to estimates by the U.S. International Trade Commission, full implementation of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement is estimated to generate nearly 280,000 new jobs nationally, including 9,963 in Pennsylvania.
Rep. Thompson yesterday praised passage of the agreement - H.R. 3080, United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act – in the U.S. House of Representatives. “In times of economic uncertainty, it is imperative that we provide every opportunity possible for our economy to grow and expand,” said Thompson. “The agreements will put Pennsylvania farmers in a better position to expand, create jobs, and bring much-needed income to communities across rural America, such as those residing in the 5th Congressional District,” he added.
President Obama is expected to sign the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, along with the U.S-Colombia and U.S.-Panama agreements, in the coming days. According to the South Korean foreign ministry, their government expects to approve its own bill on the agreement soon, enabling the trade pact to take effect on Jan. 1, 2012.