Caterpillar Applauds Korea - U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Dec 03, 2010, 20:34 ET from Caterpillar Inc.

PEORIA, Ill., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) is pleased and excited that the United States and South Korea have agreed to eliminate most trade barriers between the two countries.  

"We congratulate President Obama and President Lee Myung-bak on this historic accomplishment and wish to recognize U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Korea Trade Minister Kim Jong Hoon for their professionalism and determination in making this trade agreement a reality," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman.

Caterpillar has long advocated for free trade citing the opening of foreign markets as key to increasing exports and promoting economic growth.

"Previous trade agreements have proven to be a powerful engine of growth for exporters like Caterpillar. Following the passage of the Australia and Chile free trade agreements, Caterpillar U.S. exports to these countries doubled and tripled, respectively," Oberhelman continued.

Citing the importance of Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo's visit to America's heartland earlier this year, Caterpillar Country Director of Korea Ulf Lindqwister said, "We were honored to host the Ambassador at Caterpillar's headquarters and East Peoria factories. As a result of his visit, people in Central Illinois have a keen appreciation of the deep friendship of our two countries and a recognition that a trade agreement will benefit consumers and exporters in both countries."  

"We are encouraged by the progress announced today, but now ask Congress to act with a sense of urgency to enact the Korea free trade agreement, along with the Colombia and Panama free trade agreements. Together, these agreements represent a real opportunity to increase exports, stimulate economic growth and generate U.S. jobs," Oberhelman added.

About Caterpillar:

For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent.  With 2009 sales and revenues of $32.396 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.  The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services.  More information is available at:

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It is important to note that actual results of the company may differ materially from those described or implied in such forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) economic volatility in the global economy generally and in capital and credit markets; (ii) Caterpillar's ability to generate cash from operations, secure external funding for operations and manage liquidity needs; (iii) adverse changes in the economic conditions of the industries or markets Caterpillar serves; (iv) government regulations or policies, including those affecting interest rates, liquidity, access to capital and government spending on infrastructure development; (v) commodity price increases and/or limited availability of raw materials and component products, including steel; (vi) compliance costs associated with environmental laws and regulations; (vii) Caterpillar's and Cat Financial's ability to maintain their respective credit ratings, material increases in either company's cost of borrowing or an inability of either company to access capital markets; (viii) financial condition and credit worthiness of Cat Financial's customers; (ix) material adverse changes in our customers' access to liquidity and capital; (x) market acceptance of Caterpillar's products and services; (xi) effects of changes in the competitive environment, which may include decreased market share, lack of acceptance of price increases, and/or negative changes to our geographic and product mix of sales; (xii) Caterpillar's ability to successfully implement Caterpillar Production System or other productivity initiatives; (xiii) international trade and investment policies, such as import quotas, capital controls or tariffs; (xiv) failure of Caterpillar or Cat Financial to comply with financial covenants in their respective credit facilities; (xv) adverse changes in sourcing practices for our dealers or original equipment manufacturers; (xvi) additional tax expense or exposure; (xvii) political and economic risks associated with our global operations, including changes in laws, regulations or government policies, currency restrictions, restrictions on repatriation of earnings, burdensome tariffs or quotas, national and international conflict, including terrorist acts and political and economic instability or civil unrest in the countries in which Caterpillar operates; (xviii) currency fluctuations, particularly increases and decreases in the U.S. dollar against other currencies; (xix) increased payment obligations under our pension plans; (xx) inability to successfully integrate and realize expected benefits from acquisitions; (xxi) significant legal proceedings, claims, lawsuits or investigations; (xxii) imposition of significant costs or restrictions due to the enactment and implementation of health care reform legislation and proposed financial regulation legislation; (xxiii) changes in accounting standards or adoption of new accounting standards;  (xxiv) adverse effects of natural disasters; and (xxv) other factors described in more detail under "Item 1A.  Risk Factors" in Part I of our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 19, 2010 for the year ended December 31, 2009 and in Part II of our Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on May 3, 2010 for the quarter ended March 31, 2010.  These filings are available on our website at

SOURCE Caterpillar Inc.