Republic of Korea Ambassador to United States Visits Local Manufacturing Operation

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce facilitated a Chicago area visit for the Korean Ambassador to the United States, Han Duk-Soo, and other Embassy officials, which included a tour of Quality Float Works, Inc. – a local small business that continues to be successful even in a tough economy due to their international business. Quality Float Works, Inc. is a small business advocating for free trade with Korea. Led by third and fourth generation entrepreneurs, President Sandra Westlund-Deenihan and her son, Vice President and General Manager Jason Speer, the company has been an international player for almost 50 years. This 95-year old family-owned and Ray Ban outlet operated manufacturing business is globally engaged and has grown sales by 143% over the past 5 years due to developing a technological innovation that has allowed them to compete in the international marketplace. Quality Float Works, Inc. is an example of why free trade agreements are successful for businesses, even small businesses.

“We are very impressed with the Ambassador and the Embassy’s willingness to pursue American interest in working with their country,” said Jason Speer. “It shows a strong commitment in their openness to align interests to do business with companies like ours.”

“We are truly honored to have the opportunity to showcase our company to the Ambassador as part of his visit to our region,” Said Sandra Westlund-Deenihan. “The Ambassador knew of our international success and their market wants our products – American made products. Adopting a free trade agreement with Korea would offer a tremendous avenue to continue our success in the global marketplace.”

The Ambassador’s visit to Chicago is part of the “U.S.-Korea Partnership: Growing Jobs Across America” tour, a national series of forums that highlights the benefits of U.S.-Korea trade and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement for the U.S. economy, exports, and jobs. The nationwide tour is being organized by the U.S.-Korea Business Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s TradeRoots program, in partnership with local chambers and trade associations across the country.

Through the Partnership Tour, the Council and the U.S. Chamber are working to build local support for the U.S.-Korea FTA. Ambassador Han Duk-soo yesterday explained that this agreement would create tens of thousands of new American jobs and boost U.S. exports and GDP by billions of dollars.

“The U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement would bring our alliance into the 21st century,” said Ambassador Han Duk-Soo. “It will be a new bond that will hold our two countries closer together.