S.R. NO.













Urging the united states congress to support the korea-united states free trade agreement.



     WHEREAS, South Korea is the seventh largest trading partner of the United States and the sixth largest market for agricultural goods; and


     WHEREAS, investment between the United States and South Korea has been increasing, with the amount of South Korean investment in the United States reaching $16.7 billion and the amount of American investment in Korea reaching $36 billion in 2006; and


     WHEREAS, in 2006, bilateral trade between South Korea and the United States reached nearly $80 billion; and


     WHEREAS, the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) represents the largest and most commercially significant free trade agreement ever signed by the United States in over a decade, since the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement; and


     WHEREAS, the KORUS FTA will ultimately eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers, create better jobs, enrich consumer choice, boost industry, and enhance the overall welfare for both nations; and


     WHEREAS, the KORUS FTA will immediately eliminate tariffs on almost two-thirds of United States agricultural exports, worth over $1.9 billion; and


     WHEREAS, the KORUS FTA will liberalize the South Korean service market to United States businesses and strengthen the overall transparency in key sectors, including financial services, telecommunications, entertainment, legal services, and express delivery; and


     WHEREAS, the KORUS FTA provides state-of-the-art protection of intellectual property rights, a comprehensive set of strengthened protection measures for trademarks, copyrighted works, and patents, as well as provides for the rigorous enforcement of provisions aimed at combating piracy and counterfeiting; and


     WHEREAS, the KORUS FTA will provide greater American access to the South Korean automobile market by the elimination of South Korea's eight per cent automotive tariff, the revamping of its engine displacement system, special treatment for American automobiles on emission standards, and the expediting of the dispute settlement process with a "snap-back" mechanism; and


     WHEREAS, South Korea is Hawaii's sixth largest export market for goods, with nearly $1.2 billion in bilateral trade between South Korea and the United States having passed through the port of Honolulu in 2006; and


     WHEREAS, for more than half a century, South Korea and the United States have developed and maintained a dynamic and comprehensive alliance and partnership, with shared commitments to democracy, a market economy, and human rights; and


     WHEREAS, nearly two million Americans of Korean heritage and descent live in the United States and are successfully engaged in numerous businesses and enterprises that would directly benefit from the KORUS FTA; and


     WHEREAS, in 2008, South Korea is expected to join the United States Waiver Program and with South Korea's inclusion, it is estimated that the number of South Korean travelers to the United States will double to a minimum of nearly two million visitors a year, raising South Korea's stature to the third largest tourism revenue generating country for the United States; and


     WHEREAS, South Korea is one of the staunchest and most reliable allies of the United States, having deployed the third largest coalition contingent to Iraq and committing $460 million to post-war reconstruction efforts; and


     WHEREAS, the KORUS FTA will not only boost the bilateral economic and trade relationship between the United States and South Korea, but it will also further strengthen their alliance and allow South Korea and the United States to deal effectively with the new opportunities and challenges of the twenty-first century; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-Fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, that this body hereby urges the United States Congress to support the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and Hawaii's Congressional Delegation.









Report Title: 

Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement