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`No Deadline Set for Ratification of Korea-US FTA`

Posted October. 02, 2009 15:26,   


Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler (picture) yesterday said no deadline has been set for ratification of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement.

Cuter was speaking at a seminar on economic prospects for Asia and the U.S. hosted by the Korea Economic Institute in Washington.

On the comment of Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon in Geneva Tuesday that the agreement will be ratified early next year, she said, “I hope this is true.”

She did not specifically mention when ratification will come and the progress in bilateral negotiations, saying, “There’s nothing to say except for that we hope that we can ratify the FTA at the right time with Korea.”

An optimistic Kim said that after talk of U.S. health care reform wanes at the end of the year, the free trade deal can be ratified in the first half of next year.

“We are well aware of the fact that the FTA between Korea and the EU will be tentatively signed next month,” Cutler said. “It is important for us to look carefully at the agreement.”

An American economics expert, however, said ratification will not come that easy in the first half of next year, saying, “It seems impossible to pass the health care reform President (Barack) Obama is putting all his efforts into this month.”