Caterpillar Inc. is pleased and excited that the United States and South Korea have agreed to eliminate most trade barriers between the two countries.
"We congratulate President Obama and President Lee Myung-bak on this historic accomplishment and wish to recognize U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Korea Trade Minister Kim Jong Hoon for their professionalism and determination in making this trade agreement a reality," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman.
Caterpillar has long advocated for free trade citing the opening of foreign markets as key to increasing exports and promoting economic growth.
"Previous trade agreements have proven to be a powerful engine of growth for exporters like Caterpillar. Following the passage of the Australia and Chile free trade agreements, Caterpillar U.S. exports to these countries doubled and tripled, respectively," Oberhelman continued.
Citing the importance of Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo's visit to America's heartland earlier this year, Caterpillar Country Director of Korea Ulf Lindqwister said, "We were honored to host the Ambassador at Caterpillar's headquarters and East Peoria factories. As a result of his visit, people in Central Illinois have a keen appreciation of the deep friendship of our two countries and a recognition that a trade agreement will benefit consumers and exporters in both countries."
"We are encouraged by the progress announced today, but now ask Congress to act with a sense of urgency to enact the Korea free trade agreement, along with the Colombia and Panama free trade agreements. Together, these agreements represent a real opportunity to increase exports, stimulate economic growth and generate U.S. jobs," Oberhelman added.
For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2009 sales and revenues of $32.396 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at: www.caterpillar.com.
Source: Caterpillar Inc.
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