Published: March 15, 2012
Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT) today welcomed implementation of the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement as promoting U.S. exports, economic growth and job creation.
“The U.S.-South Korea trade agreement taking effect today will help U.S. companies sell more goods and services,” said Douglas R. Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., and Chair of BRT’s International Engagement Committee. “I urge the Administration to work closely with the governments of Colombia and Panama to quickly implement our respective trade agreements too, further supporting U.S. economic growth and jobs.”
In 2011, roughly 40 percent of U.S. exports were to countries with which the United States has Free Trade Agreements (FTA), and U.S. exports to these countries are growing faster than U.S. exports to countries that do not have FTAs with the United States. Last year, the United States sold about $50 billion more in manufactured goods to its FTA partner countries than we bought from them. These figures do not include expected gains from the agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, Oberhelman noted.
“These figures demonstrate that U.S. free trade agreements work,” he said.
“The U.S.-South Korea trade agreement reinforces America’s ties with a valued ally, broadening our relations throughout Asia. The agreement’s quick implementation signals a strong commitment by both our countries to open trade and the U.S. commitment to new trade and investment agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of ACE Limited. Mr. Greenberg led BRT efforts to help secure Congressional approval of the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement.
Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with over $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 14 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $150 billion annually in research and development – nearly half of all private U.S. R&D spending. Our companies pay $163 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate an estimated $420 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually.
BRT companies give nearly $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.