TechNet Calls for Approval of Korea Free Trade Agreement

Home » TechNet Calls for Approval of Korea Free Trade Agreement

Washington, DC – TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network of CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, today called for the congressional approval of the Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).

In a letter to U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the TechNet executives wrote:

“As business leaders committed to the growth of our country’s Innovation Economy, thank you for your continued leadership in seeking to ensure America’s long-term economic strength. We share your commitment to keeping America strong and competitive in today’s global economy, and respectfully urge you to support the pending United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).

“The technology industry vitally depends on trade. Two-thirds of our markets and an even larger share of spending growth are outside the United States. Having access to new markets in other countries, through trade agreements such as this, will create significant growth opportunities for our companies and customers. Such growth opportunities create new high-paying jobs here at home.

“TechNet seeks Congressional approval of the KORUS FTA in order to take full advantage of the benefits that will be granted to our industry, such as ending foreign ownership restrictions, increased market access through the phase-out of tariffs on many high-tech products, regulatory fairness through improved transparency and accountability, duty-free treatment for electronic transmission between countries (e-commerce) and strong protection for intellectual property, such as software and anti-circumvention provisions.

“U.S. technology companies exported $9.7 billion last year to Korea, making it a top-ten market for the industry. Korea has the highest household broadband penetration rate in the industrialized world, 96%, compared to the United States, which is 20th, with 60%. This is a fertile market with a technology-savvy population, whose appetite for our products and services is strong and continues to grow. Our European competitors have signed and ratified a similar agreement that goes into effect July 1. If the Korean trade pact is not passed, we will be at a distinct disadvantage and will lose market share to foreign firms, something that is very hard to win back.”

Signatories to the letter included: Robert J. Abernethy, President, American Standard Development Company; John G. Melo, Chief Executive Officer, Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc.; Michael R. Splinter

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Applied Materials, Inc.; Scott A. McGregor, President & Chief Executive Officer, Broadcom Corporation; John Chambers, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Cisco Systems, Inc.; Jim Watson, Managing General Partner, CMEA; Don Means, Principal, Digital Village; John McAdam, President & Chief Executive Officer, F5 Networks, Inc.; Michael J. Holston

Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Hewlett-Packard Company; A. Douglas Melamed, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Intel Corporation; Patrick Ennis, Ph.D., Global Head of Technology

Intellectual Ventures; Mitchell L. Gaynor, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Juniper Networks, Inc.; Lewis Lee, Co-Founder, Lee & Hayes; Shaun Cross, Chief Executive Officer, Lee & Hayes; Matt McIlwain, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group; Brad Smith, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation; Bruce Aust, Executive Vice President, NASDAQ OMX Group; Safra A. Catz, President & Chief Financial Officer, Oracle; Paul Lambert, President, Point B, Inc.; Joshua L. Marti

Chief Executive Officer, Point Inside; Alan Schoenbaum, Senior Vice President & General Counsel,

Rackspace Hosting; Dean DeBiase, Chairman, Reboot Partners; Stephen D. Johnston, Chief Executive Officer, SmartSynch, Inc.; Enrique Salem, President & Chief Executive Officer, Symantec Corporation; Brian E. Cabrera, Vice President & General Counsel, Synopsys, Inc.; Mark Zanoli, Managing Director, Investment Banking, UBS; Mark D. McLaughlin, President & Chief Executive Officer, VeriSign, Inc.; and Rey Ramsey, President & Chief Executive Officer, TechNet.

About TechNet:

TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of CEOs that promotes the growth of technology industries and the economy by building long-term relationships between technology leaders and policymakers and by advocating a targeted policy agenda. TechNet’s members represent more than one million employees in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, e-commerce and finance. TechNet has offices in Washington, DC, Palo Alto, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston and Austin. Web address: www.technet.org. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @technetupdate.

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Contact: Jim Hock, (202) 463-0013 x202 moc.364null@kcoh.mij