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NFTC Urges Administration to Move Forward on Its International Economic Engagement Agenda
Date: 6/15/2009
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Council Says Upcoming Visits of South Korean and Colombian Presidents Are Opportunities to Make Progress on FTAs
Washington, DC - The National Foreign Council (NFTC) today issued a statement urging the Obama Administration to move forward on the international trade agenda outlined by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a recent speech before U.S. business community leaders. The NFTC recommended that the Administration use South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s visit to Washington tomorrow, and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s visit at the end of the month, as opportunities to find a path forward on free trade agreements (FTAs) with both nations.

“The pending free trade agreements are more than just economic pacts; they are an integral part of U.S. diplomacy and are critical to our national security interests. Colombia and South Korea are two of America’s most important democratic allies in difficult regions of the world. Maintaining strong relations with both nations is critical to ensuring political stability and security in East Asia and Latin America,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch.

“Colombia has for decades been one of our leading partners in the fight against drug trafficking and the crime and violence that plague the hemisphere as a result of the drug trade,” said Reinsch. “Both Colombia and South Korea share our values of democracy and freedom in parts of the world where opposing forces seek to undermine both.”

“As the Administration and Congress pursue important domestic policy priorities, including health care reform and climate change legislation, the United States cannot afford stand on the sidelines in the international economic engagement arena. Our government is capable of pursuing and juggling several different policy initiatives at a given time and we should begin to take action on all fronts,” Reinsch concluded.

About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for 95 Years -
The National Foreign Trade Council ( is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.