March 07,2011

Press Contact:

Scott Mulhauser/Erin Shields (Baucus)
Julia Lawless/Antonia Ferrier (Hatch)

Baucus, Hatch Say Korea FTA Talks Will Continue, Press for Similar Discussions on Colombia, Panama

Finance Leaders Push Kirk to Provide Specific Plan, Timetable for Colombia and Panama FTAs

Washington, DCSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said today they will continue technical discussions with the Administration on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and called on U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to lay out a specific plan and timetable to advance the pending bilateral trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.

The text of the letter from Senators Baucus and Hatch follows below.

                                                                                March 7, 2011

Ambassador Ron Kirk
United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20508

Dear Ambassador Kirk:

Thank you for your letter of March 7, 2011 in which you informed us that you have completed your preparatory work on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and are interested in advancing technical discussions of the implementing bill and Statement of Administration Action.  As you know, our staffs met with your General Counsel on Friday, February 11, 2011 to begin the technical discussions on the implementing bill for the U.S.-Korea FTA.  A second meeting on these matters has been scheduled for March 8, 2011.  We will continue to work with you and your staff on this important agreement.

Meanwhile, we are looking forward to your testimony on Wednesday.  At that time, we expect that you will be able to answer the specific questions in our letter of February 14, 2011 regarding next steps on timing and substance regarding the U.S.-Colombia and U.S.-Panama FTAs. 


Max Baucus                                                                                                        Orrin Hatch

Chairman                                                                                                             Ranking Member