Scott Davis

The chairman of United Parcel Service Inc., Scott Davis, used the bully pulpit of the Fourth Annual American Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta to voice his support for free-trade agreements between the U.S. and Colombia and Panama in the Western Hemisphere as well as with South Korea in Asia.

“In the halls of Congress, compelling arguments for trade get overwhelmed by noisy attacks on globalization,” Mr. Davis said referring to the mid-year election campaigns. “For the economy’s sake we need to stop the foot-dragging and move quickly on these pending deals.”

Mr. Davis, a member of the President’s Export Council, also cited U.S. Chamber of Commerce figures claiming that failure to negotiate these trade agreements have cost the U.S. some 380,000 jobs.

According to a UPS press release, he also criticized “Buy America” provisions that block foreign firms from bidding on major contracts with the federal government. “These provisions put very important trade partnerships at risk – an outright deal killer” for U.S. companies seeking to sell internationally.

More than 1,000 participants have gathered at this year’s forum on Nov. 15 to discuss strategies for strengthening the Western Hemisphere’s economies. Public and private sector dignitaries from 34 countries, including U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, are attending the conference that continues through Tuesday, Nov. 16.

UPS announced in October that its third quarter results showed a gain in operating profit for its international package business of 34 percent compared with last year to $419 million on an 11 percent increase in revenue.

According to the company, export average daily volume increased 13 percent in the period due to growth in all regions with Asia leading the way, up more than 30 percent.

Non-U.S. domestic volume increased 14 percent with strength across Europe, Canada and Mexico.

As part of an on-going strategy to grow its business in emerging markets, UPS entered into an expanded alliance with its local domestic courier in Indonesia. This agreement extends the footprint for pickup and delivery of international express packages throughout the country, according to the company.