Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to encourage and request the United States Congress to immediately pass the free trade agreement with South Korea.  This is an important measure that has languished too long for this Congress.

First and foremost, we need to pass this because it is important for our economy – expanding free trade and opportunities for commerce for our nation is critical in this time of an economic recession. For my district in Hawaii expanding free trade will directly help the tourism industry, the number one sector of my district.

Second, South Korea has been a strong ally of the United States.  It is important right now that we stand alongside with our important allies in the foreign field.

Third, and finally Mr. Speaker, given the recent instability in the Korean Peninsula with aggression taken by North Korea, as a Congressman who represents the 1st Congressional District and the flight arc of North Korea’s missiles, it is important that we right now stand beside South Korea and pass this free trade agreement and pass it now.