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tv   This Is America With Dennis Wholey  PBS  October 2, 2011 10:00am-10:30am EDT

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>> the u.s./korea each trade agreement has been in the works for about five years, and the moment of truth is just about here. on this program we will talk to laura lane, managing director for city group in co-chairs of the u.s./korea business coalition. also we will talk to jong-hyun choi, the minister of economic affairs at the korean embassy in washington, d.c. "this is america." >> "this is america" is made
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possible by -- the national education association, the nation's largest advocate for public education. the american federation of teachers, a union of professionals. honson corp., forging a higher global standard. the ctc foundation, afo communications, and american life tv network. >> for the person on the street,
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what is all about? >> this is about making the agreement between the u.s. and korea fair. there is a lot of barriers that have existed for a long time in international trade, and with this agreement the governments have got together to try to figure out ways to eliminate a lot of those barriers. lowering the tariffs, creating new opportunities. it is an agreement that will mean jobs and new opportunities for u.s. companies, and partnership with korean companies. >> you mentioned jobs, and that has been a huge sticking point for so many people because our country is hurting right now. the jobs are born to go overseas. the businesses are grim to set up abroad and we will lose jobs. -- the jobs are going overseas. >> american companies need to
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tap the consumers and send them u.s. products, so we have to figure out ways to encourage that kind of trade, so agreements that give us access to the consumers outside of the united states are beneficial for creating jobs back here in the west u.s. so i look all of the free trade agreements that have been negotiated in ways that are pending as ways to stimulate job growth. in fact, there have been studies done, and they're all estimates, but the conservative estimates of president obama himself i use this number is the agreement could generate 70,000 new jobs. at a time when the economy is hurting, those are the numbers you want to be generating, and that is a conservative estimate. this agreement, i know, will create more jobs, because there is a lot of opportunities we have not been able to tap yet because of the high barriers that are there. >> we have been setting products
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over there. they are a big trading partner with us right now. -- we have been sending products over there. >> they are the third largest market for us. but can you imagine, is larger that market could be? we have a cost-conscious -- cost-conscious global economy. let's make it so they do not have to pay the tariffs or what in effect are taxes on the products going into corr korea. >> five years in the making or something like that. these are countries that are friends and we have had a lot of trouble in beef and all thoutos. how have those been resolved? >> i have to say on the timing issue it has been five years, but it is something i have learned from a good agreements take time to craft. you have to get a lot of the stakeholders in the room and
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make sure you are reaching the right agreement with the right commitments in it. autos and beef were an important sense of issues that needed to be addressed. important set oft an issues that needed to be addressed. president obama really tried to ensure u.s. autos have the access they needed in the market, and if thethere were concerns down the road, there were opportunities to readdress them. beef, they're still talking about that. >> that is off the table now for a while? >> i think there is good faith discussions between the u.s. government and the korean government, which is what this is based on come encouraging dialogue and more trade. i do not think it is completely off the table because i think the korean government and u.s.
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government want to figure out ways not only to realize the benefits that are ready there, but bigger and out ways to grow the market further. >> i should say out loud it was concerns on the part of the korean government and caribbean people about acceptincaribbean t accepting our beef. -- korean people about accepting our beef. we are accepting a lot of vehicles from them. has the playing field and level? i know that ford is on board and the uaw is on board. has that change things? >-- changed things? >> that has made a big difference. we have to make sure the agreements are lived up to. this will enable u.s. auto makers to sell more cars in the
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market. why? because a lot of the long- standing tariff barriers that kept u.s. automobiles out, some of the regulations that made it harder for the west-car models to clear the regulatory hurdles, the u.s. government tackle those head on and the korean government agreed to a series of commitments that move away those barriers that i think have prevented the success of the u.s. industry there. i am hopeful that they will succeed. >> some time ago the u.s. chamber of commerce was not on board, but they are is enthusiastically on board. you are also a co-care of something called the u.s. rushed board of commission. somewhere i have a list from everyone from johnson and johnson, a civic group, ups, a
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target, home depot -- they are all on board with this thing. hundreds of companies are supporting this free-trade agreement. >> this is a big win, and a lot of companies, not just the big companies, but the small and medium-size companies realize this means new business opportunities for them that they did not have before. we found it pretty easy to get the membership to this coalition to unite together and advanced congressional passage of the agreement, but 1000 companies. >> 1000? >> it is bigger than any coalition ever created before on free trade agreements, and it is because it is so powerful and need so much to companies across the board. that is every industry sector. it is services, a manufacturing. it is a powerful coalition. -- it is services, manufacturing.
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>> it is not just exports and imports, that kind of thing. help me understand that a little better. >> this agreement is in so many ways more than just an economic agreement. this is about showing u.s. leadership in the region. the chinese government has negotiated a lot of deals with a lot of our trading partners practicesia, and there'ir are different. we believe in investment protection and believe and making sure across-the-board tariffs are eliminated, not just for the politically-interested products or categories. this agreement helps set the standard, a u.s. standard in the region, but it is also important because it shows u.s. commitment to really important allies. we have no stronger allied bathn korea in the region.
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they are a very powerful ally for us. it shows that not only do we stand by them from a military perspective, but we trade with them and they are not for economic partner for us. i believe economic partnerships will forge some of the strong est french ships and bases for trust. -- friendships. >> where does this stand now? does it go to the senate or the whole congress? >> the president has set forward a letter saying he wants to begin technical discussions on the legislation that translates the agreement into law. there will be a technical discussion on that. there will be a walk through in the committee on the house side and subsequently on the senate side. ultimately it will be voted first in the house side and then
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the senate side, and then hopefully go to the president to be signed into law. >> that may happen in june or july some time? >> time is of the essence. we're hoping july because a lot of other countries are negotiating deals. one in particular is the european union. that is 27 european countries. they have close their deal with korea. we have to make sure the u.s. is not out of the benefits of our own agreement so we can compete on the same terms of our -- as our european competitors. we have to get this deal done before the end of july, and i am hopeful and confident we're going to get there. >> good for america and good for korea as well. how good for korea? >> this is good for them as well. we are involved in global supply chains. we agreed agreements providing products to third countries. they see this as an opportunity
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to really solidify those partnerships. i also think they recognize the benefit of bringing high-quality u.s. products and services. they open their market for the very first time in telecommunications, legal services come and help services. -- they open their market for the first time in telecommunications, legal services, and health services. the reason it is good for us not just the commitments with respect to financial-services, but we are in american world wide bank. why are we worldwide? because our clients are worldwide. our clients, american companies that are investing in korea need to have their day with them. this agreement makes it possible to provide them banking services and allow -- and also allows those companies to grow.
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when our clients can grow and invest more, citibank prospers. the agreement is good not just for us, but the clients as well as the entire u.s. economy. >> we are out of our time. thank you for your education and your passion. please to meet you. what does the free-trade agreement mean to korea? >> basically free trade agreement is something that aims to remove any barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and sometimes human beings. it is meant to increased trade flows between the countries concerned so that will be helpful for these countries to
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be more prosperous, and also, it goes beyond economic and trade aspects of any fault with told relations. korea is the staunch ally of the united states, and korea is a vibrant democracy. korea and the united states share the values of democracy, free market, and human rights, so it goes beyond trade and economic aspect. that free trade agreement, once implemented in both countries, would be a big booster for volatile relations in east asia, which is most vibrant and the fastest-growing region in the world. if you look at the benefit that comes from the elimination of tariffs that both countries, they are relying on each other. >> we send something over there,
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they send something over here, there is tariffs on them. why has this taken so long? it has been in the works for five years now? >> there have been several things to make this thing takes so long, long the than we expected. >> and we are friends, but it has taken a long time. >> because as i mentioned, we're talking about further market opening. there are some industries that would be negatively impacted with market openings, and those industries are in the united states and korea. >> what would they be? >> not competitive enough to the goods and services that are coming from the other country, so they will be negatively impacted.
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>> i have to jump in right away, because koreans sell 700,000 cars per year here, and the united states sells about 5000. >> a little less than 10,000. it is picking up. [laughter] >> that is a tremendous imbalance. my question is, if the free trade agreement goes through, will koreans buy -- i know autos, beefs, cosmetics have become a sticking point -- will they buy american cars? that is what people want to know. >> the figure you just mentioned, 700,000 cars exported to the united states, that does include about half of those figures actually are not
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exported from korea. half of those are manufactured in two local plants, owned respectively by honda and kia. the rest are exported from korea to the united states. the tariff that is currently applicable to exports of u.s. stands ates to corrkorea 8%. that means if you buy $30,000 car in korea, export it from the united states, then the tariffs amount to about $2,400. tremendous. >> so that will go?
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>> that will go eventually. that means less expensive american cars to consumers. >> psychologically will koreans buy american cars? >> as a matter of fact, last year for in-made cars -- foregin-made cars sold to the tune of almost 100,000 units. out of the 100,000 units, european cars accounted for share of that figure. about 70% were manufactured by european auto makers. >> now we're talking about adding into that mix american cars as well? >> it could be either adding to
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the market for american caor ams taking market share from european automakers. as i said, at the 8 percent tariff that is applicable to u.s. automakers will be gone, but the european and japanese auto makers will have to pay 8% tariffs in exports. that does create a price differential between american- made cars in european or japanese-made cars. that is going to be a big boost for american-made cars and the american -- in the korean market. >> they have put beef off to the sides of that is not
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involved in the free-trade agreement. that was a big sticking point. the concern in the united states has always been that u.s. business will go set up a broad, and we will lose jobs here, and that is a major concern, because this country is hurting economically. we need jobs here. how you answer that question? -- how do you answer that question? >> this claim is not based on the fact that the u.s. will lose jobs to the caribbkorean people. >> what is the fact? the fact is it has been made clear on so many different occasions come under the agreement, this is o
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expected to support at least 70,000 new jobs in the united states. >> how was that possible? -- how is that possible? >> that is possible because exports are expected to grow by as much as $11 billion per year. by extension, that would lead to the creation of jobs in the united states, but there is more, much more than that. we're only talking about 70,000 jobs supported and created by the fta, only in the areas of goods. if you add a benefit that will be coming from increased exports of u.s. services to the korean
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market, that figure would go up dramatically. is the realarticularly, korean second-largest market for u.s. services in asia after japan. and the u.s. economy is supported by a service industries by the tune of 70%. that means the united states service industry is the most competitive in the world. >> when we talk about service industries, what are we talking about? financial? >> financial. express delivery services. i.t. services, and media. >> if someone in america goes samsung television or lg tv, will that benefit the
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american consumer? >> yes. >> how so? >> because again, the average tariff on korean goods when they enter the u.s. markets is somewhere around 3.5% range. that translates into less expensive items. >> where does this stand in the national assembly in korea? will it pass? >> i think so. we are talking about two different sets of agreement. the first one was signed in june of 2007. that agreement actually passed the extending committee of the korean national assembly some
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years ago, but as you understand, last december, december of last year, we had an additional agreement, which focused mainly on some amendments to the automotive chapter of the agreements. in order for us to deal with these two sets of agreements, our government has withdrawn the first agreement from the national assembly. some time this month our government plans to submit the 2007 regional agreement with 2010 additional agreement to the national assembly, so that marks the beginning of our political process to approve the korea/u.s. free trade agreement by the national assembly, and we plan to complete our approval
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process sometime later this year. >> ok. you are optimistic it will pass? >> i am very much optimistic, because i strongly believe this is bringing about tremendous as well asr cokorea, the united states, and strong momentum has been created come up jerkily following the last deal. as in the united states, korea enjoys the majority of support. every industry here in the united states, almost every industry embraced the fta with wide arms. >> win/win? >> win/win. thank you. >> for on-line video of all "this is america" programs,
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visit our web site, this i this is made possible by the national association of education, the nation's largest advocate for public education. the american federation of teachers, a union of professionals. hunson corp., forging a higher global standard. foundation, ane ctc afo communications, and the american life tv network. american life tv network.
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