Baltimore, MD – The District Export Council of Maryland/Washington, D.C. (DEC) commended the White House for transmitting to Congress the pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Korea, and Panama and urged swift action to approve the trade deals. 

“The FTAs will reduce tariffs and other barriers that currently restrict exports of American goods to some of our country’s most important overseas markets,” stated Phyllis Jones, Chair of the DEC.  “Passage of the FTAs will generate badly-needed jobs across America by boosting U.S. exports of goods and services to these growing economies.” 

“Time is of the essence. Every day we delay, we are losing critical market share to foreign competitors that already have preferential agreements with our trading partners.  The FTAs are absolutely vital for our member companies to remain competitive in some of the most dynamic economies in the world,” said Jones. “The passage of the FTAs will not only stimulate our economy, it will also reassure our strategic partners that America is committed to global engagement at a time of increasing uncertainty and regional economic integration.”

Maryland companies exported more than $480 million in goods to Korea in 2010, more than double the amount from the previous year, and nearly 25,000 Maryland jobs are directly supported by exports.  Studies estimate that passage of the FTAs will generate thousands of jobs in Maryland and Washington, D.C. by creating new market opportunities for U.S. companies, manufacturers, workers, and service providers in Colombia, Korea, and Panama.

About the DEC: The mission of the DEC is to promote U.S. exports from the Maryland/Washington, D.C. region.  The DEC’s Trade Policy Committee coordinates the DEC’s response to issues that may assist companies in the region in selling their products or services.  DEC members are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for set terms and act as volunteers.  More information about the DEC may be found at http://www.mddcdec.com/.