Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama

Statement from Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell on the United States-Korea and United States-Panama Free Trade Agreements

Oct 12, 2011
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) released the following statement after voting for the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, H.R. 3080 and United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, H.R. 3079:

“Today, I voted in favor of free trade agreements with Korea and Panama, which demonstrate America’s commitment to strengthening our global economic leadership. These free trade agreements are critical to strengthening economic development in Alabama.

According to the Alabama Department of Agriculture, Alabama’s economy will greatly benefit from these trade agreements. For every $1 billion created in export trade, 15,000 jobs will be created for Alabamians, and 15 percent of all manufacturing sector workers in Alabama depend on exports to sustain their jobs. These agreements will encourage and support the creation of thousands of jobs in Alabama, especially in agriculture and agribusiness.

According to the Alabama Farmers Federation, “These free trade agreements are important to both Alabama farm families and the overall economy.  Collectively, the agreements mean more jobs for Alabamians because of increased exports of agricultural products, but will also result in a more-level playing field for American farmers as tariffs on American goods exported to these three countries are reduced or eliminated over time.”

These agreements will increase trade and allow American businesses to export more goods and services, which will strengthen economic development and protect and create jobs in the 7th Congressional District, the State of Alabama and across this nation.

Free trade agreements must deliver results that work for and with American businesses, workers and families. When new channels for trade are opened up for American companies to sell their products and services, they expand and create jobs. I will closely monitor the impact of these trade agreements to make sure that they do not have any negative effects on our workers or economy.

I remain committed to building and maintaining a strong, competitive U.S. economy and U.S.–Korea and the U.S.–Panama Trade Agreements will help strengthen our position as a global economic power.”


Contact: Allison Abney;  (202) 225-2665;


Additional information about the agreements below.

The United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will strengthen economic development in Alabama and encourage job creation by immediately opening new channels for Alabama goods and services in Korea’s $1 trillion economy. The U.S.–Korea FTA establishes a level playing field in Korea for Alabama workers and businesses to compete. In 2010, Alabama exported $574 million in goods to South Korea.  The U.S.–Korea FTA will further expand America’s and Alabama’s exports to South Korea by increasing fairness in and access to Korean Markets, enabling businesses in the 7th Congressional District, the State of Alabama, and this nation to export goods to Korea cheaply, quickly and effectively.  According to the U.S.-Korea Business Council, this agreement will create over 3,000 new jobs in Alabama and about 280,000 new jobs nationwide. By making it worthwhile and easier for American business to export their goods to South Korea, we are promoting economic growth, expanding American trade and industry  and supporting job creation in Alabama and this nation.

The U.S.?Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) will increase opportunities for Alabama and American businesses, farmers, and workers through improved access for their products and services to Panama’s markets. From 2008 – 2010, Alabama exported an average of $20 million in goods to Panama, but only about 40 percent of those goods entered duty-free.  With the implementation of this agreement, 87 percent of American exports will immediately enter Panama duty-free and the remaining tariffs will be eliminated over the next ten years. Opening new channels for American goods and services to be exported to Panama will strengthen and expand Alabama’s export industry, which already supports over 112,000 jobs.