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Ambassador Marantis Emphasizes the Importance of Trade Agreements for Georgia Businesses at the Port of Savannah

This afternoon, United States Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis traveled to Savannah, Georgia to highlight the job-creating benefits of the pending trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Ambassador Marantis was welcomed to the port by Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, as well as Georgia Ports Authority Chairman Alec Poitevint and Executive Director Curtis Foltz.

Ambassador Marantis tours the Port of Savannah
Ambassador Marantis tours the Port of Savannah with Georgia Ports Authority Chairman Alec Poitevint and Executive Director Curtis Foltz

The Port of Savannah is the United States' fourth largest and a key port for U.S. exports like poultry, wood products, cotton, and other goods. Korea, Colombia, and Panama are all important destinations for exports and imports from Savannah. In fact, U.S. exports to Korea through Savannah's port grew 15 percent last year and surpassed Japan to become its second largest trading destination in Northeast Asia. Savannah's trade with Colombia grew by over 50 percent last year. The planned expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to further increase trade through the Port of Savannah.

“We are here because Georgia makes a strong case for the benefits of trade and exports," said Ambassador Marantis. "The Port of Savannah is booming as we continue to increase exports to consumers around the world, creating jobs in Georgia and around the country. The pending trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama are sure to be a boon to the port and help it build on its impressive successes."

Ambassador Marantis also emphasized USTR’s work on behalf of small- and medium-sized businesses. More than 85 percent of companies that export from Georgia employ fewer than 500 workers. To help these key job-creating businesses, each agreement includes strong transparency obligations, provisions that remove technical barriers, and customs and trade facilitation and will provide a positive economic benefit for businesses and workers throughout the Peach State.