Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Supporting Business Growth through International Trade

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Supporting Business Growth through International Trade

Article excerpt

For as long as anyone can remember, Congress and the Administration have debated the best ways to balance the federal budget, support businesses, add jobs and grow the economy. Today, it is imperative that we find solutions at both the national and local levels, so inevitably this debate is destined to continue.

While many new solutions have been proposed, Missouri businesses should also consider a proven growth strategy that is already delivering results and presenting expanded opportunities for local businesses. That strategy is international trade. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), designed to eliminate barriers to trade and promote the free flow of products and services between the United States and Korea can help Missouri businesses succeed in the global marketplace.

The KORUS FTA celebrated its one-year anniversary on March 15, 2013. Since the agreement's implementation I have witnessed firsthand how trade with Korea can serve as a powerful economic engine for Missouri's businesses.

Throughout 2012, international trade was a catalyst for business growth in the state. Based on preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division, Missouri exported more than $709.5 million in goods to Korea in 2012, an increase of 16.6 percent ($101.1 million) over 2011. Missouri's trade with Korea in 2012 supported more than 4,220 jobs, based on the U.S. Department of Commerce statistic that one job is supported by $168,000 in trade. Companies in Missouri also reported growing demand for locally- produced products including mineral fuel, aircraft parts, pharmaceuticals, meat and medical devices.

As additional Korean import tariffs and market barriers are reduced or eliminated under the KORUS FTA, international trade could become one of the largest economic drivers for Missouri. …

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