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H.R. 1279 (113th): United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Fairness Act of 2013

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 20, 2013 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1279

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 20, 2013

(for himself and Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of State to issue up to 10,500 E–3 visas per year to nationals of the Republic of Korea (South).

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Fairness Act of 2013 .

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Although it was not formally a part of the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement, the E–3 visa category was created for up to 10,500 Australian nationals per year in the aftermath of the ratification of that agreement.

(2)

The Republic of Korea has been a critical treaty ally and trading partner of the United States for the past 60 years.

(3)

Ever since the signing of the 1882 Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce, and Navigation between the Kingdom of Chosun (Korea) and the United States, the two countries have stood at the forefront in the promotion of freedom, democracy, peace, stability, and human rights.

(4)

With the unwavering commitment and support of the United States, the Republic of Korea has undergone a remarkable economic and political transformation, rising from poverty to become the 11th largest economy in the world and a thriving, multiparty democracy.

(5)

The alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea has been forged in blood and further advanced by struggles against common adversaries in the Korean peninsula, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

(6)

The Republic of Korea ranked, as of December 2012, as the 7th largest trading partner of the United States.

(7)

The United States and the Republic of Korea signed the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement on June 30, 2007, and that agreement was entered into force on March 15, 2012.

(8)

There are deep cultural and personal ties between the people of the United States and the people of the Republic of Korea, as exemplified by the large flow of visitors and exchanges each year, enhanced by adoption of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

(9)

The almost 2,000,000 members of the Korean-American community have made significant contributions to the commercial, academic, professional, medical, scientific, engineering, educational, military, artistic, musical, and athletic development of the United States.

(10)

Immigration from the Republic of Korea has been an important part of the history, identity, and culture of the United States.

(11)

The Republic of Korea continues to be a vital strategic ally, trade partner and friend to the United States.

3.

E-visa reform

(a)

Definition

Section 101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii)) is amended by inserting , or solely to perform services as an employee who meets the requirements under section 203(c)(2) if the alien is a national of the Republic of Korea after Australia.

(b)

Numerical limitation

Section 214(g)(11)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(11)(B) ) is amended by inserting for each of the nationalities identified under section 101(a)(15)(E)(iii) before the period at the end.