Business Roundtable: Trade pacts will have impact on N.H.
Enactment of three trade agreements now awaiting approval by Congress will benefit New Hampshire, according to the head of the Business Roundtable, a organization whose membership is made up CEOs of the nation's largest corporations.According to John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, the pending deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama would boost economic growth and job creation in New Hampshire.As part of the organization's lobbying effort to push for enactment of the treaties, Engler --a former Republican governor of Michigan and current president of the Business Roundtable -- that the trade deals "must be a top priority for our legislators. The South Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements mean jobs and a stronger economy for America. Failure by the United States to implement the South Korea free trade agreement could result in nearly 400,000 lost jobs."Specifically for New Hampshire, Engler said, enactment will have "a clear impact" on Manchester in particular and New Hampshire as a whole. He said New Hampshire exports to South Korea directly support 481 jobs. At $32 million, Colombia is New Hampshire’s 24th largest export market. And with the United States ranking as Panama’s largest trading partner, 88 percent of U.S. goods exported to Panama will be duty-free upon implementation of our agreement. He said that as exports grow, trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will give local businesses the opportunity to create even more jobs for New Hampshire workers.For instance, by making military weapons exports duty-free to Colombia, New Hampshire-made weapons would cost $4 million per year less than similar products from competitors without a free trade agreement. In addition, he said, trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will also support New Hampshire’s economy through reduced costs for raw materials imported by New Hampshire’s manufacturers. -- JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW