Skip to Main Content Skip to Navigation Skip to Footer
U.S. Trade Agreements web site banner - A joint effort between the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, State, Treasury and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

About Trade

"Free and fair trade helps secure a future of freedom and promise."

President George W. Bush
World Trade Week Proclomation
May 16, 2008

Site Updated: October 27, 2008

Support for FTAs

Western Hemisphere Heads of State Support for Peru, Colombia and Panama FTAs

“With humility and profound respect, I would like to suggest the importance of the U.S. Congress ratifying these agreements [with Peru, Colombia, and Panama], thinking not only in the benefits they would bring to the Latin American nations I have mentioned — benefits that would be considerable — but also of the benefits they would bring to the people of the United States…”

H.E. Oscar Arias, President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize laureate
From a letter to Speaker Pelosi: Oct. 10, 2007.

“In my view, Colombia needs its democratic friends to lean forward and give them a chance at partnership and trade with North America. I am very concerned that some in the United States seem unwilling to do that. What message does that send to those who want to share in freedom and prosperity? … If the U.S. turns its back on its friends in Colombia, this will set back our cause far more than any Latin American dictator could hope to achieve.”

Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
From a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations: Sept. 25, 2007.

“The United States has played an important role in the opening of markets by signing, ratifying, and implementing free trade agreements. Mexico, Chile, and the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic today benefit from the valuable development tool of a free trade agreement with the United States. Three additional countries — Colombia, Panama and Peru — also signed free trade agreements with the United States … We consider that it would be greatly beneficial for those countries, for the United States, and for good relations between your country and Latin America, that those free trade agreements be ratified.”

    H.E. Elías Antonio Saca, President of El Salvador
    H.E. Manuel Zelaya, President of Honduras
    H.E. Oscar Berger, President of Guatemala
    From a letter to Speaker Pelosi: Oct. 3, 2007.

“In the last 20 years, many countries in Latin America have made notable advances toward the construction of stable democracies, the promotion of free trade, and improvement of the quality of life of their inhabitants. The United States of America has supported these processes using, among other mechanisms, the signing, ratification, and implementation of free trade agreements.... I believe the implementation of these agreements would be of the greatest benefit [for Peru, Colombia, and Panama], for the United States, and for good relations between your country and Latin America. In addition, the ratification of these agreements would send an important signal of our shared commitment to commercial integration and the development of our continent. Respectfully, I exhort you to do what you can to help achieve this goal.”

    H.E. Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico
    From a letter to Speaker Pelosi: Oct. 15, 2007.

“I believe that the positive reality generated by the free trade agreement between the United States and Chile might constitute a useful element for the Congress of your country [to consider] when the moment comes to decide on the approval of the Free Trade Agreements between the United States and Peru, Panama, and Colombia. Three years after our bilateral trade agreement came into force, the evaluation of its effects made by my Government, as well as the one of the Chilean public opinion, is clearly positive…. I would also like to emphasize that regarding environmental and labor issues, we are closely working with the authorities of your country in projects oriented to improve the quality as well as to strengthen the enforcement of our laws and regulations, in order to reach international standards…. I am certain that the respective approvals by the Congress of your country of the free trade agreements between the United States and Peru, Panama, and Colombia … will benefit those countries as well as the rest of the American continent, whose common aspiration is to advance along the path of economic and social development in peace, freedom, and democracy. These approvals will also be beneficial for relations between the United States and Latin America, since they will stimulate trade and exchanges, as well as the global economic and political relations.”

H.E. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, President of Chile
From a letter to Speaker Pelosi: April 23, 2007.

Support for U.S.-Korea FTA
“The new FTA with Korea will vastly improve our competitiveness in Korea by eliminating trade and regulatory barriers on our exports and investments. It will also reinforce the ability of the United States to become more competitive in Asia, one of the most important and fastest growing markets today.”

John J. Castellani
President, Business Roundtable

“This agreement with the world's tenth largest economy has the potential to bring huge economic benefits to U.S business, workers, consumers and farmers. It is one of the most important free trade pacts the U.S. has ever achieved.”

Peter M. Robinson
President, United States Council for International Business

“The negotiators put in a Herculean effort to obtain a comprehensive agreement that covers a broad array of issues important to manufacturers… initial reports indicate that many manufacturers will benefit from the most significant trade agreement in decades. The agreement appears to provide higher standards of protection for U.S. investment in Korea, including in the important area of resolving disputes between government authorities and foreign investors. Similarly, high standards of protection for intellectual property rights give confidence to U.S. manufacturers...”

John Engler
President, National Association of Manufacturers

More Support for the KORUS FTA