Quality Magazine

International Automakers Commend White House Support of the Korea Free Trade Agreement

July 8, 2010

ARLINGTON, VA - The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers Inc. (AIAM) commends President Obama for his pledge to move forward and ultimately present the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) to Congress. Approval of this agreement will significantly expand trade and investment opportunities to the benefit of consumers in both nations.

“We applaud President Obama for recognizing the economic benefits this agreement will bring,” says Michael J. Stanton, president and CEO of AIAM. “The global competitiveness of automakers in both countries will improve and consumers on both sides of the Pacific will ultimately benefit from a closer, more dynamic, bilateral trade relationship.”

The U.S. and the Republic of Korea signed the KORUS FTA three years ago, but the agreement has not been submitted to the U.S. Congress for approval. Enactment of the KORUS FTA would lead to the immediate elimination of Korea's current 8% tariff on U.S. passenger vehicle imports into the country and the eventual elimination of U.S. tariffs on Korean imported motor vehicles and parts.

South Korea is the seventh largest trading partner of the U.S. according to Congressional Research Service. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates a likely increase in U.S. GDP by $10 to $12 billion. Merchandise exports to Korea could grow by an estimated $10 billion as well, benefiting a wide range of American economic sectors.

“In line with AIAM’s long-standing support for free trade and open investment policies, we offer our full support to the White House as it works to advance this historic free trade agreement,” says Stanton.

The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers Inc. (AIAM) is a trade association representing 15 international motor vehicle manufacturers who account for 40% of all passenger cars and light trucks sold annually in the United States. AIAM provides members with information, analysis and advocacy on a wide variety of legislative and regulatory issues impacting the auto sector. The association is dedicated to the promotion of free trade and to policies that enhance motor vehicle safety and the protection of the environment.