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The United States And South Korea Trade Agreement

596 words - 3 pages

The United States and South Korea trade agreement
In nation trade each trading partner has something to gain, such as access to more goods , services and lower prices. The United States and South Korea established the world’s largest bilateral trade agreement. The proposed deal reduced tariffs on about 90 percent of product categories prior to the agreement. Trade deals require all parties to make concessions, which united state and South Korea did. Asian nation was the third-largest market for U. S. beef exports. But American beef exports plunged after an outbreak of mad-cow disease in 2003 which scared the Asian nations. In the spring of 2008, a few weeks after taking office, President Lee Myung-bak decided to lift a ban on U.S. beef in return to the United States agreed to exclude South Korea’s rice industry from the trade agreement. Rice represents about half of ...view middle of the document...

Meanwhile, amid ongoing concerns about remaining export barriers for beef and autos, the U.S. Congress did not ratify the agreement either. Ford, Chrysler, and the United Auto Workers union opposed the deal. Hyundai and Kia, the stars of Korea’s auto industry, were enjoying great success in the United States despite the recession. Overall sales of both foreign and domestic cars were down by nearly 40 percent in the U.S. market. By contrast, sales for Hyundai and Kia were only down 3.6 percent.
When U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Toronto for the G-20 conference in 201 0, he met with President Lee. The relationship between the two allies had taken on a new significance after North Korean forces allegedly attacked and sank a South Korean naval vessel. Forty-six sailors died in the attack. At the Toronto summit, President Obama expressed solidarity with South Korea and promised to urge the U.S. Congress to ratify the FTA. Washington and Seoul completed the negotiations and the agreement was signed. The break through came in part because the deal extended a 2.5 percent tariff on Korean cars and a 25 percent tariff on Korean SUVs for several years.
Things went wrong with united state and South Korea agreement when President Lee Myung-bak decided to lift a ban on U.S. beef. Some people and organizations adamantly opposed to the agreement. After President Lee’s decision was made public, news reports suggested that mad cow disease could still be present in U.S. herds. Opposition politicians from the united Democratic Party, whose candidate was defeated in the most recent presidential election, took advantage of the negative publicity to suggest that Mr. Lee had caved in to demands by American trade negotiators. The rumors fueled a backlash that included rumors that American consumers don’t eat the type of beef that is exported and that consumer products such as mascara contain beef by-products and could be tainted. In May 2008, thousands of people gathered in Seoul to protest.

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