The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomes the news that the White House is sending the trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress for approval.

As the leading export industry of the U.S., the high-tech sector in particular benefits greatly from expanded trade.  CCIA has continued to support these agreements, especially the Korea free trade agreement, which would become the second largest FTA (after NAFTA) implemented by the United States.

The agreement with Korea includes 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 following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We hope that a strong bipartisan vote here for economic expansion will be the first step in restoring the bipartisan free trade consensus that once existed in Congress.

“The agreement contains provisions that would expand market access for the technology industry to a major trading partner. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates the Korea FTA’s implementation would increase U.S. GDP by up to $12 billion.

“CCIA looks forward to swift approval of the agreement, thereby revitalizing the U.S. trade agenda, and demonstrating the U.S.’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.

“Votes on trade have been politically challenging lately, though in the past Congress typically united on foreign policy issues that benefitted the country as a whole economically. It is particularly important to take this step because in the five years since these treaties have been pending, other nations have stepped forward with trade agreements. US companies risk falling further behind if our country does not enact its trade agreements.

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

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