A Great Day for Free Trade and U.S. Jobs

By Peter Cleveland, vice president of Global Public Policy at Intel

Today’s vote in Congress to pass the three pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia marks an important step forward for U.S. manufacturing and American jobs. Intel has been a strong supporter of free trade and the trade agreements, and we applaud Congress for voting in favor of them.

These trade agreements are critical to Intel’s business and its ability to create and maintain jobs in the U.S. While more than three-fourths of Intel’s revenue comes from overseas, more than three quarters of its manufacturing facilities are located in the U.S. These FTAs will help American companies like Intel to compete internationally through greater access to key global markets.

In particular, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement is a big win for U.S. manufacturers. Korea is the United States’ seventh largest trading partner and, given the rapid growth of the information technology sector, it is a very important market to Intel. The provisions within this and other trade agreements protect intellectual property, ensure technical standards will be market driven, and help lower prices for American goods and services. The Korea-U.S. FTA will greatly benefit both the U.S. and the Korean economy. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) estimates that the agreement will create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs in the U.S. and increase the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $10 billion per year through increased exports. Intel is extremely grateful for the significant efforts by a number of U.S. and Korean officials that paved the way for today’s vote.

Intel joins many other businesses, large and small, across multiple industries in thanking Congress for its vote in favor of these agreements. We also look forward to the Administration’s future (and hopefully speedy) negotiation of other robust trade agreements that can open up additional markets for U.S. goods and services. Today, Congress put aside partisanship discord and made it a great day for American workers and business.

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