Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, was in Los Angeles last week to
discuss the status and importance of the U.S. – Republic of Korea Trade
Promotion Agreement. Ambassador Kirk stressed the importance of this
Free Trade Agreement to achieving President Barack Obama’s goal of
doubling U.S. exports in five years.

President Obama has directed Ambassador Kirk and his negotiating team
to engage with South Korea to resolve outstanding issues by the next
G-20 meeting in November in Korea. Two of the key industry sectors
still being discussed are autos and beef.

Ambassador Kirk stressed that 95 percent of the customers for American
products and services live outside the United States. and that the
capacity for these customers to purchase U.S. products and services is
growing faster than consumer demand in the United States.

The rest of the world is not standing still in terms of trade
agreements, Kirk emphasized. If we don’t develop trade agreements with
Korea and other nations, American companies and workers will be left

This week, members of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce are with
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Korea to promote California products and
services. This trip and similar trade missions to other countries are
important. But results will be dramatically greater once the U.S. –
Korea Free Trade Agreement is in place and most of the current tariffs
on U.S. products and services are reduced or eliminated.

Take action today to urge California’s membership in
the U.S. House of Representatives to lead the charge on approving the
U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement. As Ambassador Kirk noted, California
companies and their employees will be big winners.