The new free trade agreements recently signed into law by President Obama are expected to help many small businesses that are interested in exporting. On October 21, three new free trade agreements -- with South Korea, Colombia and Panama – were signed into law.
These agreements strip away tariffs and make it easier and cheaper to send most American goods to these countries. Conversely, the vast majority of goods produced in these countries will be able to enter the United States without import taxes.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said these trade agreements will help the Obama Administration’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015. Obama has said that increasing exports and, in particular, enabling small businesses to sell to a broader global market, is a key way to boost the lagging U.S. economy and create more jobs.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton predicted that the South Korea trade pact alone would create 70,000 American jobs. As U.S. businesses sells more products to South Korea they will grow their profits and need more employees. Other assessments have put the job creation figure even higher.
Many analysts say a wide variety of U.S industries are expected to benefit from these new trade agreements, from automakers to those who provide financial services.
The “Made in America” label has strong appeal in many parts of the world but currently only 1 percent of U.S. businesses sell their products abroad.
Farmers selling American beef, dairy and poultry products are also expected to benefit from the new trade pacts.
U.S. International Trade Commission estimated that the agreements could boost exports by more than $12 billion.