LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce congratulates Congress today after they approved trade agreements that will make it easier for American companies to compete in exporting to South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
“We applaud Congress for recognizing the urgency of this situation and providing a much-needed lifeline to American businesses,” said L.A. Area Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben. “At a time when our country’s employers need every advantage they can get when it comes to competing in international markets, these cost-free jobs stimuli are exactly what we need.”
Under the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS), 95 percent of bilateral trade in consumer and industrial products will become duty free within three years of the date the free trade agreement (FTA) is implemented, and most remaining tariffs would be eliminated within 10 years. This will add $10-$12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea – making this the United States' most commercially significant FTA in more than 16 years.
In addition to KORUS, Congress also approved agreements with Colombia and Panama. The agreement with Panama, which is fastest growing economy in Latin America, will guarantee access to the country’s $20.6 billion services market by eliminating tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports. The U.S.-Colombia trade agreement will expand U.S. goods exports by more than $1.1 billion and give key U.S. goods and services duty free access in sectors from manufacturing to agriculture. It will increase U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion and support thousands of additional U.S. jobs.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.