Go to contents

Korea-U.S. FTA Could Be Concluded Tonight

Posted March. 30, 2007 07:45,   


High-level free trade talks between Korea and the U.S. are expected to be concluded successfully by midnight on Saturday, March 31.

On the conditions of a package deal being worked out, South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong and Deputy U.S Trade Representative (USTR) Karan Bhatia began making “big deals” (give-and-take) on the remaining key sectors, including agriculture, automobiles, trade remedies, and textiles on March 29.

An official of the Korean negotiating team said, “Although the U.S. beef import issue remains the greatest obstacle, the results of the negotiations are expected to be announced either by the end of the day Friday or early Saturday.”

Meanwhile, President Roh Moo-hyun who currently is paying an official visit to Qatar, stated on March 29, “I might have to settle one or two issues when I receive the final reports as soon as I return to Korea. Sometimes it is better to be the last decision maker.”

A Cheong Wa Dae official explained, “Settling one or two issues indicates that Roh may have to make a final decision on some sensitive issues, including rice and beef issues.”

bae2150@donga.com jyw11@donga.com