US Rep. Frank Guinta statement on passage of job-creating Free Trade Agreements


(Washington – October 12, 2011)     Rep. Frank Guinta (R, NH-01) proudly stood alongside New Hampshire job creators on Wednesday by voting for three Free Trade Agreements: H.R. 3078, the United States-Columbia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, H.R. 3079 the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, and H.R. 3080, the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act.  These job bills were approved in a bipartisan vote of (262-167), (300-129) and (278-151) respectively.  All three now go to the U.S. Senate for consideration.  Rep. Guinta released the following statement:

“This evening, I joined with members of both parties in supporting all three Free Trade Agreements.  These bills will create over 250,000 American jobs, and will do it without costing taxpayers a single dime.  By leveling the field for U.S. exports and heightening the demand for American-made products, these agreements open markets for U.S. manufacturing, agriculture, and service industries and will immediately create New Hampshire jobs.  I encourage the Senate to join with the House and consider all three Free Trade Agreements.”

BackgroundH.R. 3078, United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act: In addition to being vital for national security, the Colombia agreement represents a key market for the U.S. with an estimated $1.1 billion growth potential where 80% of U.S. exports of industrial / consumer goods would be duty-free immediately.  Additionally, the agreement makes over 77% of agricultural tariff lines duty-free immediately.  The traditional one-way preferences have given Colombia free access to U.S. market, while U.S. exporters have paid nearly $3.4 billion in duties.

H.R. 3079, United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act: Would give U.S. exporters immediate duty-free treatment on 88% of Panama’s tariff lines for manufactured goods and on over half of agriculture lines.  Panama currently enjoys duty-free access into U.S. markets for over 90% of its products, while U.S. exporters pay duties averaging 7.8% for consumer / industrial products and 20% for agriculture.  Also expands access for U.S. services and increases U.S. access to Canal expansion. 

H.R. 3080, United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act: Would give U.S. exporters immediate duty-free treatment on 80% of South Korea’s tariff lines and open up South Korea’s $560 billion services market to U.S. service-providers in key sectors (financial, insurance, telecom, audiovisual, express delivery, and professional services).  South Korea would also open its historically difficult regulatory process, including in autos, and treat U.S. companies equally in the application of product standards.  Today, the average South Korean tariff for U.S. exporters is more than four times what they face in U.S. market and estimates show U.S. exports would grow by $10-12 billion under the agreement.  Additionally, the agreement includes a special textile safeguard, allowing the U.S. to impose tariffs if imports surge and result in injury to the domestic industry.