Connolly-Yoho Reintroduce Partner with Korea Act
Today, Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, and Ted Yoho (R-FL) introduced the Partner with Korea Act, bipartisan legislation that builds on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and encourages greater ties between American and Korean businesses.
The legislation would create an allotment of 15,000 E-4 highly skilled work visas for Korean nationals with specialized education and expertise, provided that potential employers can ensure the visa holders are not hired for positions that American workers could fill. Similar visa allotments were created following our free trade agreements with other countries, including Australia and Singapore.
“South Korea is an essential American ally and, as our sixth largest trading partner, an indispensable source of opportunity for American businesses,” said Rep. Connolly. “The Partner with Korea Act will allow the U.S. to fully enjoy the economic benefits created by the KORUS FTA, and will further solidify the close relationship between our two countries.”
“South Korea is a valued ally in the Asia- Pacific region and one of America’s largest trading partners. Our two countries are home to some of the most technically advanced companies in the world; relying on highly skilled individuals educated in the sciences,” said Rep. Yoho. The Partner with Korea Act allows highly skilled individuals to work in the U.S. while protecting American workers. This is a perfect example of working hand in hand with our close ally, to fill the manpower shortages we have.”
The KORUS FTA passed Congress in 2011 and began to take effect in March of 2012. The Partner with Korea Act was previously introduced in the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses.
In addition to Reps. Connolly and Yoho, the Partner with Korea Act is cosponsored by Reps. Bera, Beyer, Bishop, Blunt Rochester, Cartwright, Case, Cohen, Cooper, DelBene, Kilmer, Kind, King, Long, Mullin, Raskin, Rice, Shimkus, Speier, Takano, Womack, and Woodall.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.