Device-makers push Korea trade deal

The medical device industry is pressing Congress to quickly pass the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Korea is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for medical devices, according to the Advanced Medical Technology Association, or AdvaMed. The group’s president, Steve Ubl, said in testimony to the Senate Finance Committee that the proposed agreement with Korea is the first U.S. trade pact to specifically address his industry.

“Implementation of the FTA would help United States retain and expand jobs in the U.S.,” Ubl said. “Decreasing tariff and non-tariff barriers will obviously lead to more sales of U.S. medical technology products in Korea. Implementation of the FTA would therefore benefit not just the medical technology sector, but also would create positive collateral benefits to the U.S. economy as a whole.”

According to his testimony, the U.S. exported about $875 million in medical devices to Korea last year and the market there is expected to grow by 10 to 15 percent.