The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomes the news that the Senate Finance Committee will finally move forward with a mock markup on the three pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea, Panama and Colombia.  The markup would also include an extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that has long been an important component of our trade policy.

With competing agreements such as Korea-EU and Colombia-Canada set to go into effect shortly, any further delay in enacting our FTAs would lead to a direct ceding of market share.  Our trade stalemate has gone on long enough.

As the leading export industry of the U.S., the high-tech sector in particular benefits greatly from expanded trade, and CCIA has continued to support the U.S.-Korea FTA. The Korea FTA, the largest of the three FTAs, would become the second largest after NAFTA to be implemented by the U.S.  The Republic of Korea is the world’s 12thlargest economy, and the U.S. International Trade Commission estimates the FTA’s implementation would increase U.S. GDP by up to $12 billion.

The agreement includes provisions that would expand market access for the technology industry (such as the electronic commerce provisions and government procurement provisions) and would contribute toward the National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years.  The agreement also demonstrates the United States’s continued commitment to free trade and open markets, as well as its continued commitment to engagement with Asia, an increasingly important region for high tech trade.

CCIA looks forward to decisive action that advances the nation’s trade agenda and enhances U.S. credibility in promoting free trade.

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