Posted June. 30, 2007 04:14,
Additional Korea-US FTA negotiations were concluded Friday, June 29. Negotiations first began last February, 16 months ago. All that is left for the two countries to do now is sign the trade accord and have the National Assembly and the U.S. Congress ratify it.
The government convened an external economic ministers meeting and an ad hoc cabinet meeting to review and vote on the trade agreement that contains the renegotiated clauses. At a breakfast press conference with editors-in-chief and newsroom directors before these meetings, Prime Minister Han Deok-soo said, We reached an agreement on the additional negotiations and this will be reflected on the trade accord that will be signed in Washington on June 30 (local time).
The U.S. promised to help Korea be included in its Visa Waiver Program (VWP), and it will not raise the issue of Korean pharmaceutical companies manufacturing generic drugs for 1.5 years after the trade agreement goes into effect.
In the meantime, George W. Bush, the U.S. president, will reportedly announce a statement on June 30 (local time) that his government will proactively entertain the possibility of including Korea as one of the beneficiaries of its VWP.