9/30/2011

Korea-U.S. FTA Update: Get this Thing Passed Guys

A regional California newspaper posted a decent article on the benefits of the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement.

The article was written by the president of the Silicon Valley Korean American Federation.

The article emphatically notes:
Pulaski made a specific claim that Bay Area electronics jobs were especially vulnerable. But in 2010, more than 30 percent of all California exports were computer and electronic products valued at over $43 billion. These  exports support tens of thousands of California jobs. The U.S.-Korea free trade agreement will lower or eliminate tariffs on a wide variety of U.S. products and services, including electronics.
This would give U.S. exporters an advantage in the South Korean market over the competitors from other countries, such as Japan and China. In fact, the Korean economy is no longer based on cheap labor. It won't take jobs away from the Bay Area. It will rather create more jobs and business opportunities here with Korea's competitive manufacturing and global business network.
Korea's high tech and electronic companies are looking for partners in Silicon Valley that can provide new business models, technologies and market intelligence in order to compete against cheap-labor-based businesses. Both countries' industries can cooperate and go to the global market together for common benefits. This can start when the trade agreement is signed.
California's economy depends on international trade. More than 4 million Californians working in manufacturing, high-tech, financial services, entertainment, agriculture and other sectors owe their jobs, in some degree, to foreign trade.
I have received a stark increase in interest in E.U. companies in our legal services.  The British, particularly, have shown a great interest in entering the Korean market.  If the Korea-U.S. FTA is not passed soon, U.S. companies will be at a stark disadvantage.

The article may be found here:  Hobin Kim: U.S.-Korea Trade Pact is Very Different from NAFTA.
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SeanHayes@ipglegal.com