The U.S. and Korean trade chiefs meet near Washington tomorrow and Wednesday to work towards resolution of the issues left over from the G-20 summit in Seoul. The U.S. is pressing Korea to give ground:
The new plan is known to include the protection of Korea’s relatively vulnerable pharmaceuticals and agricultural markets. On pharmaceuticals, Seoul will ask Washington to delay by 18 months a ban on the sale of reproduced American drugs in Korea before the patents expire for the original drugs.
The Korean government will also strengthen safeguard measures for agricultural products.
In addition, adjustment of what Korean opposition parties call “poison pill” clauses is under review. These include the negative list system for services allowing the opening of all service products except those specifically prohibited and a ratchet clause that bars going back to pre-free trade deal days.
Seoul, however, will not exclude the maligned investor-state dispute settlement clause, which allows a private investor to legally challenge a host government`s public policy.
We were trying to get concessions from the Koreans on autos and beef. Are we about to go after concessions on autos, beef, labor, investment, finance, targeted tariff reduction for small and medium manufactures, and more focus on trade deficit reduction: The Korea - U.S. FTA: Negotiating with Congress.
Kevin Brady of Texas, who is likely to be the new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommitte on Trade, has a good record on opposition to trade barriers: he voted on the right side of the trade barrier votes tracked by the Cato Institute 82% of the time.
Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, the top House Republican on the Trade Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means, released the following statement related to the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement negotiations:
"I am disappointed that the outstanding auto and beef issues surrounding the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement have not been resolved. I hope that these issues can be resolved quickly and sufficiently so we can take full advantage of the market opportunities that this agreement presents for the United States." ...
The Korean National Assembly's Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade approved the KORUS FTA in April, 2009, clearing the way for consideration by the full National Assembly. That's as far as its gotten.