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He added that the treaty would “improve the welfare of the Korean people by giving them cheaper U.S. goods and help modernize our economic institutions.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the United States could lose 345,000 jobs if Congress fails to ratify the agreement. That would cost Kentucky 5,000 jobs and Ohio more than 12,600.

Mr. Han addressed one issue that auto unions have raised by noting that the treaty would eliminate the 8 percent Korean tariff on U.S. vehicles. The United States would remove the 2.5 percent tariff on Korean-made cars.

Kentucky exported nearly $440 million in goods to South Korea in 2008, while Ohio exported more than $600 million.

In Ohio, where he addressed the City Club of Cleveland, Mr. Han noted that the United States stands to benefit more than South Korea because Seoul would remove heavier tariffs on U.S. imports.

Former President George W. Bush and former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun signed the trade agreement in 2007.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.