Intel recently filed comments, Intel Corporation Korea – US FTA Comments USTR-2009-0020.pdf, with the Office of the United States Trade Representative, pursuant to their request for public comments, on the Free Trade Agreement with the Republic of Korea (KORUS FTA). In addition to Korea being a key market for U.S. exports, the KORUS FTA has strategic importance for Intel and others in the U.S. semiconductor industry as a means for furthering trade liberalization initiatives in Asia.
As noted in our comments, many of our major foreign competitors are pursuing negotiating strategies with Korea to open markets for their companies and workers on a preferential basis, putting American companies and workers at a severe competitive disadvantage. Products of the United States will face discrimination and higher tariffs than foreign products subject to these other trade agreements that Korea is or has negotiated if the KORUS FTA is not approved.
In its comments, Intel stated that it strongly supports congressional approval of the KORUS FTA. Our comments focused on three specific aspects of the Agreement — the competition policy, technical barriers to trade and intellectual property chapters – the value of which may not be fully evident to policy makers who have not been involved in the KORUS FTA negotiations.