House Votes to Pass Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

Nov 14, 2011

Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 3080 – the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act – with bipartisan support.

The U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent and nonpartisan federal agency, says the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (KORUS FTA) would increase America’s goods exports by up to $11 billion and increase our gross domestic product (GDP) by nearly $12 billion. The agreement would also create as many as 70,000 new jobs for American workers.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa supported the measure.

“The United States has worked closely with South Korea to create a level playing field for this trading agreement,” said Congresswoman Hanabusa. “Along with giving the economy a much needed boost, the FTA will reinforce our relationship with South Korea, a key ally in the Pacific. I believe this partnership is vital to our country’s defense posture and our economic stability.” 

Before casting her vote, Congresswoman Hanabusa supported the improvements President Obama made to the bill, which ensure accountability and fairness while protecting workers’ rights and the environment.  She also supported the passage of H.R. 2832 – which extends the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act (TAA) for workers, farmers, and firms through December 31, 2013. TAA programs offer necessary retraining opportunities, health insurance assistance, and other crucial support to U.S. workers should they lose their jobs due to the negative effects of international trade.

However, she did not support similar legislation for free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.

“I’m not convinced that Colombia has made the necessary changes to protect labor rights, and most importantly, human rights. With Panama, I do not believe this arrangement is beneficial for the U.S. economy. The United States should only enter into an FTA if both sides prosper from the agreement.”