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AAFA releases fact sheets on Korea trade agreement
Apr '11
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) released a series of fact sheets outlining the benefits and dispelling myths of the U.S. – South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). The KORUS fact sheets, The KORUS Agreement: A Good Deal for U.S.-Made Apparel and KORUS and Textiles: Just the Facts, were released in conjunction with Thursday's House Ways and Means Trade Sub-Committee hearing on the agreement. Accompanying the fact sheets is a statement for the record submitted by AAFA for Thursday's hearing.

“The recent series of trade hearings held by the House Ways and Means Committee has been very helpful in getting to the bottom of the key issues that have stalled U.S. trade policy,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Hearing on the Korea agreement will help us focus on getting this trade-opening agreement quickly passed. That is why AAFA is releasing these fact sheets and submitting this statement, which are designed to express the value the KORUS agreement holds for our industry.”

“The U.S. apparel and footwear industry is experiencing its greatest growth abroad,” Burke said. “The KORUS agreement creates opportunities for further growth by opening the Korean market to U.S.-made apparel,” Burke said. “I applaud House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Sub-Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) for their continued leadership to level the playing field for the U.S. apparel and footwear industry as it competes in the global marketplace.”

South Korea is currently the fourth largest market for U.S.-made finished apparel, behind Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. From 2000 to 2010, U.S. apparel exports to Korea have increased five times over.

Time is of the essence. U.S. apparel exports to Korea currently face tariffs ranging from eight to thirteen percent. Set to take effect on July 1, 2011, a trade agreement between South Korea and the European Union (EU) allows European-made apparel exports immediate duty-free access into the Korean market. Once approved and implemented, KORUS will also enable U.S. apparel exports to enter Korea duty-free immediately. For footwear, KORUS contains many favorable provisions with South Korea.

“AAFA will continue working with Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration to seek swift passage of the pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama,” said Burke.

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

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