A recent agreement between the U.S. and South Korea on beef imports has some business leaders thinking the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement may earn congressional approval soon. They should not get their hopes up. The union-owned Congress currently in power has made it clear they will not be approving any new trade deals this session. Politico outlines some of the reasons why American businesses are so eager to get the deal approved:
The Korea agreement is the most significant trade pact signed by the United States in 15 years, since the North American Free Trade Agreement. And a wide range of the business community supports the pact.
A vast majority of the National Association of Manufacturers’ members, for instance, support the trade pact, said Doug Goudie, director of international trade policy. “It’s really going to benefit them; it’s an excellent opportunity for increased exports.” NAM is part of the Korean trade pact coalition.
The American Farm Bureau supports it, too, estimating the trade pact will increase U.S. agricultural exports to Korea by $1.5 billion a year.
Even though the odds aren’t good for a vote this year, the business community will press lawmakers to pass the Korea deal sooner rather than later, arguing the United States risks losing the economic race to faster competitors. And business leaders warn that other countries are already eyeing similar agreements with Korea.
“We’re living in a highly competitive global economy,” Griffin said. “The sooner we can get it, the more advantageous the position, the more advantageous a position the United States will have in this growing market.”