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Portman negotiates for largest tariff free trade pact with South Korea

03
Feb '06
Rob Portman – US Trade Representative
US Trade Representative Rob Portman announced the Administration's intent to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with Republic of Korea with the goal of removing tariffs and non-tariff barriers and expanding trade between the countries.

Portman made the announcement at the United States Capitol building and was joined by Korea's Minister of Trade Hyun-chong Kim and a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress. The negotiations will begin after the expiration of a 90-day consultation period.
"This is the most commercially significant free trade negotiation we have embarked on in 15 years," said Ambassador Portman. "Korea is the world's 10th largest economy with an annual GDP rapidly approaching $1 trillion and our 7th largest export market.”

“Removing trade and investment barriers between our two nations through an FTA will increase market access for our farmers, ranchers, workers and businesses to the dynamic and growing Korean economy, boosting trade in goods and services."

"Few countries better represent the promise of open markets, democracy and economic reform than Korea," Portman continued. "Our countries have been allies for over a half century, and with this agreement, we can strengthen our alliance, reaffirm our commitment to remain vigorously engaged in Asia, and create new opportunities for prosperity and peace for the people of both our countries."

"I'm very pleased this launch has generated bipartisan enthusiasm," Portmanadded. "USTR will continue its intensive bipartisan consultations with Congress on this and other trade matters."


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