South Korea, Colombia and Panama Free Trade
Agreements Will Kick Start Minnesota’s Economy
and Job Growth
Business Roundtable Urges Congress to Pass Pending Trade Pacts to Improve American Economic
June 30, 2011 10:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time
WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama
would boost economic growth and job creation in Minnesota, the head of the business association of chief executive
officers of leading U.S. companies said today.
John Engler, President of Business Roundtable, called on Congress and the Administration to enact pending free
trade agreements with the three countries, calling the agreements a necessary step toward expanding job-creating
“The South Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements mean jobs and a stronger economy for America. They
will have a clear impact in Minnesota,” Engler said. “Congress needs to act now, on behalf of American businesses
and workers, to increase market access and help ensure fairness in global trade.”
By strengthening business ties with these three markets, the United States can open new doors for increased export
of American goods and services. In Minnesota, exports to South Korea directly support 2,095 jobs. At $68 million,
Colombia is Minnesota’s 34th largest export market. With the United States ranking as Panama’s largest trading
partner, 88 percent of U.S. goods exported to Panama will be duty-free upon implementation of our agreement.
As exports grow, trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will provide local businesses and
farmers the opportunity to create even more jobs for Minnesota’s workers. For example, by making the export of
soybeans duty-free to Colombia, Minnesota-made soybeans would cost $1,242,781 per year less than similar
products from competitors without a free trade agreement. In addition, trade agreements with South Korea,
Colombia and Panama will also support Minnesota’s economy through reduced costs for raw materials imported by
“Enacting these trade pacts must be a top priority for our legislators – failure by the United States to implement the
South Korea free trade agreement could result in nearly 400,000 lost jobs. Unemployment is stuck around 9 percent
and additional job losses in Minnesota would set the state further back,” Engler said.
To learn more about how passage of the Colombia and South Korea free trade agreements will benefit each state,
visit Business Roundtable’s interactive map featuring key statistics from across the country.
Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with nearly
$6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 13 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly
a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $114 billion annually in research and
development – nearly half of all private U.S. R&D spending. Our companies pay more than $179 billion in
dividends to shareholders.
BRT companies give nearly $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.
Please visit us at www.brt.org, check us out on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter.
Business Roundtable (BRT)
Kirk Monroe, 202-496-3269
Joe Crea, 202-496-3288