Draft Resolution Urging the Presidential Administration and Congress to Support Continued U.S. Participation in the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)


Within the last decade, the Asia-Pacific region has become the fastest growing region in the world, with the International Monetary Fund predicting that it will remain the global leader of economic advancement and maintain 2018 growth projections of up to 5.4 percent. Since it came into force in 2012, the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) has been mutually beneficial for both parties, lowering and eliminating tariffs on U.S. exports and encouraging Korean foreign direct investment (FDI) in and imports to the United States which have led to job creation in the U.S. and a wider range of more affordable consumer goods for American families. This resolution calls on the Administration to reject the idea of withdrawal from KORUS FTA in favor of reforming the agreement in order to maintain mutual economic growth as well as diplomatic and strategic cooperation during a particularly precarious time.  

Draft Resolution Urging the Presidential Administration and Congress to Support Continued U.S. Participation in the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)

WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) policy on free trade acknowledges that “the imposition of artificial barriers to free and open trade…are deterrents to American economic interests;” and

WHEREAS, KORUS FTA was entered into force on March 15, 2012; and

WHEREAS, KORUS FTA has been the largest U.S. FTA in more than 16 years and is the highest standard trade framework the U.S. currently has in force; and

WHEREAS, retaining the KORUS FTA at this time would send a strong signal to U.S. trading partners that America’s historic commitment to free trade and economic liberalization remains strong; and

WHEREAS, the Republic of Korea is the 15th largest economy in the world; and

WHEREAS, the Republic of Korea is the United States’ seventh largest export market and is a major customer for goods such as civil aircraft, electronics and technology, industrial machinery, plastics, chemicals, agricultural products including beef and services; and

WHEREAS, the FTA between the Republic of Korea and the United States made 94 percent of all trade between the two countries duty-free within three years and has eliminated most remaining tariffs within the last five years; and

WHEREAS, lower tariffs have increased demand for U.S. exports to the Republic of Korea; and

WHEREAS, KORUS FTA has strengthened our economic and strategic alliance with the Republic of Korea and underscores the U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific region; and

WHEREAS, KORUS FTA has provided a private sector-led stimulus by increasing exports and has contributed to America’s economic recovery through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which have created jobs; and

WHEREAS, the Republic of Korea has finalized free trade agreements with the European Union (EU), Canada, China, Australia, among others; and

WHEREAS, the agreement with the EU has put U.S. market share and jobs in the industrial and agriculture sectors at a significant competitive disadvantage; and

WHEREAS, this trade agreement has contributed up to $12 billion to the economy; and

WHEREAS, China’s trade with South Korea has been expanding rapidly, necessitating an American response to avoid being left behind; and

WHEREAS, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) whose negotiating partners include 16 Asia-Pacific nations but exclude the United States is likely to be finalized by the end of 2018; and

WHEREAS, President Trump has expressed interest in withdrawing from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement; and

WHEREAS, rising tensions with North Korea illustrate the crucial need for cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region; and

WHEREAS, the Asia-Pacific region has shown significant economic growth according to the International Monetary Fund; and

WHEREAS, the United States has already withdrawn from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, effectively removing itself from much of the Asia-Pacific market; and

WHEREAS, this withdrawal from the TPP effectively conveys a message of American disinterest in economic and diplomatic cooperation in the region; and

NOW THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that ALEC applauds the support of previous presidential administrations for KORUS FTA and their efforts to negotiate and shape the agreement; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ALEC calls on the U.S. to remain a party to the United States-Korean Free Trade Agreement while acknowledging the benefits of improving the agreement through joint implementation talks and amendments to the FTA that fall far short of withdrawal from or renegotiation of the framework; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon adoption, an official copy of this Resolution be prepared and presented to the President of the United States, to the chairmen and ranking members and all other members of the U.S. Senate Finance and the U.S. House Ways and Means Committees, to the members of the Senate and House Advisory Groups on Negotiations, to the U.S. Trade Representative, to the U.S. Secretaries of Commerce and State and to the Chairmen of the U.S. International Trade Commission and the National Economic Council.