World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


U.S.-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement

State Department
U.S. Department of State

Seize the Opportunity of a U.S.-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement

Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea
U.S. Embassy
Seoul, Republic of Korea
February 3, 2006

A new, exciting chapter is opening for the U.S.-Korea relationship, as we prepare to begin negotiations soon with the aim of concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by April 2007. This FTA will be one of the largest and most significant in the world.

Given the size and complexity of our bilateral economic relationship, this negotiation will be a monumental undertaking. We also face time constraints in light of the July 2007 expiration of the U.S. law that creates the special procedures for implementing free trade agreements.

Nevertheless, this is a challenge our two countries must take on, for the overwhelming benefits of a U.S.-Korea FTA justify the effort. The latest Korean Government research predicts that a U.S.-Korea FTA would increase Korea's real GDP by as much as 2%, boost exports to the United States by 15%, and raise manufacturing employment by 6.5%.

An FTA between our two countries also stands to have a profoundly positive impact on foreign investment in Korea, which can provide Korea with more advanced jobs, technology transfer, and introduction of new, internationally-proven management practices that eventually benefit all firms in the market. All previous American FTA partners have witnessed a significant increase in U.S. direct investment. For example, U.S. investment in Mexico jumped from $4.4 billion pre-NAFTA to $13.2 billion after NAFTA. Our Asia-Pacific FTA partners Singapore and Australia also experienced increased exports to the United States and increased inward foreign investment.

Finally, the benefits to the Korean consumer must not be overlooked, for they will be the true winners of this deal. As a result of the FTA, the prices Korean consumers pay for their daily purchases will fall. As one example, Koreans -- whose food bill as a percentage of income is higher than for citizens of almost all other OECD members -- will enjoy lower food prices and a greater selection of fruits and vegetables. Money saved on food can be invested in education, leisure, and cutting-edge IT services -- exactly the type of sectors that need to grow to provide future generations with well-paying jobs. The FTA, in other words, will improve the lives of the vast majority of Koreans and assist in Korea's ongoing economic modernization.

I hope the decision to move forward with U.S.-Korea FTA negotiations also finally puts to rest the allegations that U.S.-Korea relations are troubled, or that our alliance is drifting apart. Let me be clear, if that were the case, we would not be taking this step. The United States is enthusiastic about this move to upgrade our relationship precisely because the United States recognizes that Korea is an indispensable ally, a major trading partner with an advanced economy, and a good friend. It is a vote of confidence in the enduring strength of our ties, and a further step in the ongoing modernization of our relationship towards a true partnership of equals. I am very pleased that I will be here to do my part to ensure the negotiations are successful and that we are able to seize this tremendous opportunity.

Released on February 3, 2006


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news