News / Economy

US, S. Korean Presidents Pledge to Quickly Resolve Free Trade Differences

Women walk by a screen showing G20 Seoul Summit sign at the venue for the upcoming summit meeting, 02 Nov 2010
Women walk by a screen showing G20 Seoul Summit sign at the venue for the upcoming summit meeting, 02 Nov 2010

South Korea's government says presidents Lee Myung-bak and Barack Obama have promised to resolve differences on a trade pact before Seoul hosts the Group of 20 leaders' summit next week.

The office of the South Korean president says Mr. Lee Tuesday morning telephoned Mr. Obama.

Presidential spokesman Cho Hyujin says the two leaders agreed to jointly complete work on the landmark free-trade agreement between the two countries.

The spokesman says the two presidents pledged to finalize the agreement before the G20 leaders' meeting, to promote free trade in the world and to upgrade the South Korean-U.S. alliance to a higher level.

The two presidents will meet next week in Seoul just before the leaders of the Group of 20 economic powers meet.

The U.S.-South Korea trade agreement was signed three years ago but the U.S. Congress has not ratified it.

Proponents of the agreement, such as the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South Korea, Amy Jackson, call Tuesday's telephone pledge significant.

"That it was discussed by the leaders today, I think, is a very good sign that there's strong intention on both sides to get this done," said Jackson.

Some economic analysts predict the agreement could boost trade between the two countries by 25 percent. Last year, the United States' trade deficit with South Korea exceeded $10 billion.

U.S. proponents of the pact point out it would ultimately lift all tariffs between the two countries, increasing U.S. exports to South Korea by $10 billion annually and create thousands of new American jobs.

But U.S. critics, especially in the automotive and beef industries, say it does not give them enough access to the South Korean market.

Jackson of the American Chamber calls that perception inaccurate.

"The average Korean tariff in manufactured goods and agricultural goods is far higher than that of the United States. So just on the tariff side alone this agreement will bring tremendous preferential access to U.S. companies, to the benefit of U.S. workers in all sectors," said Jackson.

South Korean backers of the deal say their country's consumers will enjoy lower prices on imported food and a more efficient flow of investments both ways. But critics say it will harm South Korean farms and the country's financial industry.

South Korea has said it will not renegotiate the agreement, but it is willing to work with the United States to address concerns in Congress.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.