US Congress approves pending trade agreements

- Thursday, October 13, 2011

US Congress approves pending trade agreements

The US Congress has approved free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, international press reported.

The approval puts an end to years of debate over what has been deemed the biggest opportunity for local exporters in decades.

The announcement comes after TechNet, a US bipartisan policy and political network of technology CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, sent a letter to US Congressional leaders urging them to approve the agreements.

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"If passed, the Colombian, Korean and Panamanian trade agreements will make it possible for [US] companies to compete without unfair trade burdens," the letter reads.

The US technology industry depends on overseas trade for a majority of its business, according to TechNet. Some two-thirds of the tech industry's current revenue is generated outside the US. An even larger segment of its future business is expected to come from overseas.

Colombia has the second-fastest growing middle class in South America, behind only Brazil. Having access to markets in countries rapidly adapting new technologies holds significant growth opportunities for US companies, TechNet said.

"Greater market access in these three countries is worth some US$12bn more in American annual exports; since these markets are still growing, that number will continue to increase," the documents reads.

The letter was signed by executives from several technology companies, including Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), eBay, F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV), Facebook, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), HP (NYSE: HPQ), Juniper Networks, Intel (NYSE: INTC), Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Sybase.