- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brett M. Decker was spot-on in pointing out how the free-trade agreement between the United States and South Korea, as well as South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s visit to Washington, “underscore the vital necessity for Washington to constantly renew and strengthen its ties to our traditional allies” (“The enduring U.S.-Korean alliance,” Web, Friday).

Finalizing trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama this month was great news for our beleaguered economy and for American workers desperate for access to new markets.

The Coalition of International Development Companies (CIDC) was formed by more than 50 of the nation’s leading international development companies to support America’s efforts abroad by bringing highly skilled entrepreneurial assistance to developing countries. In the newly passed trade pacts, we see signs of the fruits of our labor.

More than 50 percent of our foreign trade is with developing countries that are our foreign assistance partners. The United States is making long-term investments through CIDC companies in developing stable, democratic trading partners. China’s approach to business investments is increasingly seen as predatory in the developing world. America’s good-faith investments in supporting genuine reforms with these trading partners advance America’s interests and bolster mutually beneficial trade that create jobs here at home.

We cannot separate the need to promote and foster free trade from the need for robust foreign-assistance funding that delivers transparent and accountable results for taxpayers.

CHARITO KRUVANT

Chairman, Coalition of International Development Companies

Washington