WASHINGTON - Trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama would boost economic growth and job creation in Salt Lake City, the head of the business association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies said today.
John Engler, President of Business Roundtable, called on Congress and the Administration to enact pending trade agreements with the three countries, calling the agreements a necessary step toward expanding job-creating exports.
"The South Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements mean jobs and a stronger economy for America. They will have a positive economic impact in Salt Lake City," Engler said. "Congress needs to act now, on behalf of American businesses and workers, to increase market access and help ensure fairness in global trade."
By strengthening business ties with these three markets, the United States can open new doors for increased exports of American goods and services. In Utah, exports to South Korea directly support 746 jobs. At $12 million, Colombia is Utah's 44th largest export market. With the United States ranking as Panama's largest trading partner, 88 percent of U.S. goods exported to Panama will be duty-free upon implementation of our agreement.
As exports grow, trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will provide local businesses and farmers the opportunity to create even more jobs for Utah workers. Utah-made products and parts will cost significantly less than similar products from competing countries without a trade agreement. In addition, U.S. trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will also support Utah's economy through reduced costs for materials imported by Utah's manufacturers.
"Enacting these trade pacts must be a top priority for our legislators - passage of all three trade agreements will create an estimated 250,000 American jobs, but failure to pass the trade agreements could cost nearly 400,000 U.S. jobs. Unemployment is stuck around 9 percent and additional job losses in Utah would set the state further back," Engler said.
To learn more about how passage of the Colombia and South Korea trade agreements will benefit each state, visit Business Roundtable's interactive map featuring key statistics from across the country at www.brt.org..
Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with nearly $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 13 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $114 billion annually in research and development - nearly half of all private U.S. R&D spending. Our companies pay more than $179 billion in dividends to shareholders.