President Obama to push U.S.-Korea FTA

Economic reality is beginning to take the place of anti-trade rhetoric on the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which has been on hold since it was signed three years ago.  Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama has said he will resolve issues relating to beef and autos for the November G-20 meeting in Seoul and then push for ratification of the FTA soon after.

According to the U.S. Trade Representative, that would be good news for the still-faltering economy.  It is estimated that Korea under the FTA would be reducing tariffs and quotas on goods and services, with goods alone adding “$10 billion to $12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea.”

The pressure is on from other countries pursuing trade agreements with Korea. Last fall the European Union and Korea signed a trade pact, which has to be voted on by Members of the European Parliament.  Canada too has a pending trade agreement with Korea.

Check out CEI’s Issue Analysis on why the U.S. should move ahead on the FTA.