Obama Plan to Double U.S. Exports by 2014 Floundering as He Heads to New Orleans Port to Sell His Trade Policy

from Public Citizen, Nov. 7, 2013. For Immediate Release: Contact Thomas Dewar (202) 454-5108

U.S. Exports Fell 10 Percent in First Year of Obama’s Korea Free Trade Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama will visit the Port of New Orleans this Friday to tout the importance of U.S. exports as the bleak results of his 2011 free trade agreement with Korea fuel congressional opposition to his request for new “Fast Track” trade authority. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the template for the increasingly controversial 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact for which Obama is now seeking Fast Track authority.

In contrast to Obama’s promises that the Korea deal would boost exports, in the agreement’s first year, U.S. exports to Korea fell 10 percent, imports from Korea rose and the U.S. trade deficit with Korea exploded by 37 percent. This equates to a net loss of approximately 40,000 U.S. jobs.

The drop in exports to Korea added to last year’s sluggish overall two percent U.S. export growth rate. Given current trends, the U.S. will not achieve the president’s export-doubling plan until 2032 – 18 years behind the 2014 deadline Obama set in his 2010 State of the Union speech.

The U.S. export record under U.S. FTAs is not helping Obama make his case for Fast Track or the TPP. Growth of U.S. exports to nations that are not FTA partners has actually exceeded export growth to nations that are FTA partners by 38 percent over the past decade.

“Given that the trade agreement model we’ve been using is undermining U.S. export growth, it’s not surprising that Congress is not keen on more of the same policies and Fast Track procedures that got us into this mess,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch….

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