Editorial: Free Trade

Labor Day weekend seems an appropriate time to call attention to the most significant free trade agreement since the North American Free Trade agreement - the Korea Free Trade Agreement.  Congress has delayed passing it for more than a year and a half now.  It is time to move forward.

More than 15% of all manufacturing workers in Alabama depend on exports for their jobs and 23 Alabama companies export goods and services to Korea.

Korean goods flow into America but it doesn't work as much in reverse due to more than double the tariffs placed on American goods flowing to Korea.

The trade deal with Korea does away with these and other market access barriers.  Alabama would significantly expand the number of goods and services exported to Korea, creating more jobs.

NAFTA helped Alabama increase exports to Canada and Mexico and free trade agreements with Chile and Jordan increased Alabama exports to those countries.

Trade and investment with Korea already supports tens of thousands of American jobs across all sectors of the economy.

Let's double that by approving this free trade agreement and giving American workers a true win this Labor Day.