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Trade Deal with US Finally Set

Issued: February 01 2012

The long-negotiated Free Trade Agreement between Korea and the United States will finally go into effect March 15, following the February completion of the final remaining legal issues.

“In a few short weeks, the promise of the US-Korea trade agreement – including tens of thousands of exportsupported jobs with better wages – will start to come home for American businesses and working families,” United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement. “President Obama insisted that we get this agreement right by forging a better deal that led to strong bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. Entry into force of this agreement will open up Korea’s $1 trillion economy for America’s workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers while also strengthening our economic partnership with a key Asia-Pacific ally.”

On March 15, almost 80 percent of US exports of industrial products to Korea will become duty-free, including aerospace equipment, agricultural equipment, auto parts, building products, chemicals, consumer goods, electrical equipment, environmental goods, all footwear and travel goods, paper products, scientific equipment and shipping and transportation equipment.

The agreement also includes a number of significant commitments related to non-tariff measures that will also come into force on March 15, including obligations related to enhanced regulatory transparency, standard-setting, technology neutrality, and customs administration. Strengthened protections for intellectual property rights will also come into force on that day. Finally, commitments opening up Korea’s $580 billion services market will also be in effect beginning March 15.

Congress cleared the deals with Korea, Panama and Colombia on October 12. The trade deal between Korea and the US had been in the works for several years and, in 2007, was readied by President George W Bush for a vote in Congress, where it stalled due to disagreements between the White House and lawmakers.


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