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The South Korea - U.S. (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement Context and Prospects

Recorded on April 11, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

U.S. and South Korean negotiators have struck a landmark trade deal in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).  The accord -- the largest signed by the U.S. since the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 - is expected to increase the countries' robust $75 billion annual bilateral trade by an additional $20 billion. The KORUS FTA would providing U.S. and South Korean workers and businesses with new opportunities and be a milestone in broadening the U.S.-South Korea relationship beyond the military alliance. It would also serve as a powerful statement of the U.S. commitment to East Asia. Although the deal would eliminate more than 90 percent of all tariffs within three years, it will face considerable opposition in the U.S. Congress and South Korean National Assembly.

Wendy Cutler - the lead US negotiator - will discuss the benefits of the recently concluded agreement. Our panelists will assess the geopolitical ramifications and business and Congressional reactions.