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On Sunday, Ambassador Kirk attended the annual Southern Governors’ Association (SGA) Winter Business Meeting in Washington, D.C. Puerto Rico Governor and SGA Chairman Luis Fortuño introduced Ambassador Kirk. .
Ambassador Kirk highlighted President Obama’s recent State of the Union address by discussing the implementation and enforcement of the three pending trade agreements. pecifically, he spoke about creating a level playing field for American businesses as new markets open for American products. Ambassador Kirk also noted that the implementation date for the U.S.-Korea trade agreement is March 15. In addition, the U.S. government is meeting with Colombian and Panamanian governments to review the obligations of their respective trade agreements, and ensuring that the necessary laws and regulations go into effect.
Ambassador Kirk discussed how the trade agreements will benefit Americans here at home, including how U.S. jobs will be supported by increased exports to Korea, Panama, and Colombia once the agreements take effect. , Ambassador Kirk also noted that on the first day that the U.S.-Korea trade agreement goes into effect, almost 80 percent of U.S. exports of industrial products and almost two-thirds of agricultural products to Korea will become duty-free.
Furthermore, Ambassador Kirk touched on the importance of expanding trade to Latin America, noting that Chile and Peru are two of our partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The Ambassador concluded by stating: “strong trade enforcement and market-opening measures will boost U.S. exports and jobs in your communities. That’s the bottom line. As you work to attract job-building trade and investment to your states, we are working to keep U.S. producers globally competitive around the world.”