August 23, 2010

Crapo Plans Jobs and Trade Forum

U.S. Chamber: Thousands of jobs at stake in trade agreement negotiations

Boise - More than 380,000 potential jobs could be created or saved if the United States implements pending trade agreements, according to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To discuss the impact on Idaho jobs is the reason Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to bring together experts from the U.S. Chamber, the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and other local financial leaders for a forum on jobs and trade Wednesday in Boise.

"Chamber studies show how critical trade is; there are more than a hundred market-opening trade agreements under negotiation around the world and the United States is at the table in only one of these," Crapo said. "At the same time, our nation faces higher tariffs against our goods than nearly all of our trade competitors. Trade is a critical issue to create and maintain jobs."

The roundtable is entitled "Business Opportunities for Idaho: Growing through Exports and Trade," and is scheduled from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce's Basement Conference Room, 250 South 5th Street in Boise.

Among the headliners are Crapo, the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness; Renee Radcliff Sinclair, Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Chamber Director Liz Reilly; USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Darci Vetter; U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center Director Amy Benson; U.S. Small Business Administration District Director Norm Proctor; and Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Chairman David Terrell and President & CEO Bill Connors. More than one hundred Idaho business leaders are also expected to attend the event.

"The current focus is on the U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement, which could increase exports of U.S. goods to Korea by $11 billion and expand markets for two-thirds of our agricultural base," Crapo said. "Just last month, Korea opened its market to Idaho potatoes again and Idaho beef exports have nearly doubled over last year."

"Another study revealed that between 2004 and 2008, trade-dependent jobs in the U.S. increased by more than 22 percent, compared with just 7 percent for employment overall," added Crapo, who has served as a delegate to several World Trade Organization meetings.