By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, Dec. 3 – Announcing the completion of a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with South Korea Friday, President Obama called the agreement “a model for future trade agreements, which must be both free and fair.” The next step is to secure Senate ratification. Promising “increasing exports of agricultural products for American farmers and ranchers,” Obama said that:

“I am very pleased that the United States and South Korea have reached agreement on a landmark trade deal that is expected to increase annual exports of American goods by up to $11 billion and support at least 70,000 American jobs. Last month in Seoul I directed our negotiators to achieve the best deal for American workers and companies, and this agreement meets that test.

“American manufacturers of cars and trucks will gain more access to the Korean market and a level playing field to take advantage of that access. We are strengthening our ability to create and defend manufacturing jobs in the United States; increasing exports of agricultural products for American farmers and ranchers; and opening Korea’s services market to American companies. High standards for the protection of worker’s rights and the environment make this a model for future trade agreements, which must be both free and fair.

“Today’s agreement is an integral part of my Administration’s efforts to open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services, create jobs for American workers, farmers and businesses, and achieve our goal of doubling of U.S. exports over five years. It deepens the strong alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea and reinforces American leadership in the Asia Pacific. I look forward to working with Congress and leaders in both parties to get this done and to ensure that America competes aggressively for the jobs and markets of the 21st century.”

For reaction from Agriculture Sec. Vilsack and pork, beef and soybean groups, go to:

For complete details and impacts of the new Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, go to three White House fact sheets at:

More jobs through exports:

Economic value:

U.S. auto exports:

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