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10 Stories: How New Trade Deals Will Help Foreign Consumers Buy American

July 19, 2011

A recent publication by Third Way highlights the stories of ten iconic American products and services and shows how passing the pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea can help consumers abroad “buy American” by reducing foreign barriers to American exports on everything from medical devices to French fries.

Excerpts from the report include:
  • “Fortunately, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) would level the playing field for U.S. vintners by immediately eliminating Korea’s 15% duty on American wines.  According to the USDA, Korean importers anticipate that KORUS would significantly increase imports of U.S. wines, bringing more of the bounty of Sonoma and Napa Valley to Korean tables.  But to gain these benefits, America must act on KORUS.  Otherwise, America would be the only major wine supplier that pays a tariff in Korea, and would face even tougher competition.  After all, if you were a Korean consumer comparing a mid-price bottle of California wine for $34.50 with competing wines from France, Italy and Chile priced at $30, which would you buy?”
  • “The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (Colombia TPA) would help American companies like Peoria-based Caterpillar to tap into Colombia’s strong demand for construction equipment.  The Colombia TPA would eliminate Colombia’s 5% duty on Caterpillar’s U.S.-made bulldozers and its 15% duty on Caterpillar’s heavy trucks.  For a $2 million Caterpillar D11 bulldozer, this would save Colombian customers some $100,000.  For a $2 million Caterpillar truck, these savings would be $300,000.”
  • “Eliminating Korea’s high duties would position American juice suppliers to grab Korean sales from Brazil – Korea’s current leading supplier – because Brazil’s juice imports would still face Korea’s 54% duty.  After all, if you were a savvy Korean shopper comparing a six-pack of Florida’s Natural juice at $14.49 and a Brazilian brand for $22.32, which would you buy?” 

Read all 10 stories by clicking here.

The more these trade agreements are delayed, the more market share American workers, farmers, and businesses stand to lose to foreign competitors.  This past week The Wall Street Journal noted that the implementation of the South Korea-European Union trade agreement is having immediate and positive impacts for both countries.  

The three pending trade agreements are a sure-fire way to increase exports by at least $13 billion and create up to 250,000 American jobs without requiring one dime of new government spending. The time to move forward is now.