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U.S. – Korea free trade agreement celebrated

Congressmember Joseph Crowley was hopeful that the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement would create economic growth, while leveling the playing field for U.S. businesses to remain competitive in the global economy.
He joined the Korean-American Community in a New Year’s celebration on Monday, January 10 to discuss the status of the agreement, and its benefits for New York and the U.S.
Crowley said he supports the agreement because there is no massive trade deficit between South Korea and the U.S. South Korea is a Democratic nation, respects human rights and is a very important non-NATO ally, said the congressmember. He served as the keynote speaker at the event, which was hosted by the National Unification Advisory Council at the Dae Dong Manor in Flushing.
“By opening the door for U.S. businesses to access growing markets in Korea, this agreement will fuel growth in a number of sectors and will benefit businesses right here in New York,” Crowley said.
Under the agreement, diamonds, pharmaceutical products and other goods made in New York would lose their tariffs, according to Crowley.
Crowley said that in 2008, South Korea invested over $6 billion in U.S. projects, and that lifting restrictions will bring jobs back to Queens.
“Passing the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is important right here in Queens,” said Crowley.
He went on to note that the borough’s large Korean-American population means many businesses will open in Queens, in favor of the Korean-American community’s common language and culture.
“We have welcomed hundreds of thousands of Koreans to the U.S., where they have prospered as an immigrant community,” said Crowley.
“What we provide more than any other country is stability and rule of law,” Crowley said in support of the U.S.’s involvement in the agreement. “That’s what makes us so attractive for business.”
“I don’t support all free trade agreements,” Crowley said before the event. “But I think this free trade agreement is a fair one for Korea and the United States.”
Crowley said he hopes Congress will consider the agreement in the next couple of months. He also said President Obama is ready on Korea and that he has indicated he will send it up to Congress soon. At that point, Congress will have 60 days to vote to approve or strike down the agreement, which cannot be amended.

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