No breakthrough in latest FTA talks

SOUTH KOREA - Seoul stressed the easing of U.S. trade rules and Washington declared the full reopening of the Korean market to U.S. beef as key to securing a successful bilateral free trade agreement.
calendar icon 11 December 2006
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These differing views were clarified at the end of the fifth round of FTA talks held from Dec. 4 to 8, and underscored the prospect for more heated negotiations during the next round in January.

"How the U.S. responds to our requests in the area of trade remedies will shape the direction and tone of the next round of talks," Kim Jong-hoon, Korea's top negotiator, told reporters during a briefing at the fifth round of talks held in Big Sky, Montana. "We have to wait and see how the U.S. Trade Representative reports to Congress."

The Bush administration has until the end of this year to submit to Congress a draft for trade remedies to meet the June 30, 2007, expiry of its trade promotion authority. Demanding changes to U.S. antidumping rules and having wider access to the U.S. textile market are two major negotiating points for Korea. Asia's third-largest economy has many more sensitive areas than the United States, an economy that is well-advanced in market opening.

Source:The Korea Herald
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