U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis visited Savannah on Aug. 22 to promote pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
Savannah is poised to benefit from the deals, which have awaited ratification for years but could go before Congress in September. They would create tens of thousands of jobs in Georgia and the U.S., according to Mr. Marantis.
“Savannah is clearly a place positioned to seize these new export opportunities with its strong trading relationships and ambitious vision for the future,” said Mr. Marantis in a statement after meeting with Georgia Ports Authority officials.
The Obama administration has argued that increasing exports is an important component to improving the economy and is working on an initiative aimed at doubling exports by 2015.
Alec Poitevint, chairman of the ports authority, said the Port of Savannah is doing its part to support the recovery.
“As the number-one U.S. port for poultry, exporting nearly 40 percent of U.S. poultry, the Port of Savannah helps drive economic recovery through exports,” said Mr. Poitevint in a news release.
Under the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, 95 percent of bilateral consumer and industrial products would become duty free and duties would be dropped almost immediately on about two-thirds of U.S. agricultural goods, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.
For more information on the agreements, visit www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements.