History of Korea Free Trade Agreement

The Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) is a free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea, signed in 2007. It is the most significant trade agreement between the two countries and has the potential to significantly boost economic growth and employment in both countries.

The negotiations for the KORUS FTA began in 2006, after both countries expressed interest in expanding their economic relationship. The agreement was signed on June 30, 2007, and went into effect on March 15, 2012.

The KORUS FTA is designed to reduce tariffs, eliminate barriers to trade, and increase investment between the two countries. Under the agreement, 95% of all consumer and industrial products traded between the two countries became duty-free immediately, with the remaining tariffs being phased out over the next several years.

The agreement also includes provisions to protect intellectual property rights, open up government procurement markets, and improve labor and environmental standards.

The KORUS FTA has already had a significant impact on trade between the two countries. In the years following its implementation, bilateral trade increased by over 12%, with U.S. exports to South Korea increasing by 25% and South Korean exports to the U.S. increasing by 11%.

The agreement has also had a positive impact on job creation in both countries. The International Trade Administration estimates that the KORUS FTA has supported over 500,000 U.S. jobs and created over 50,000 new jobs in South Korea.

However, the KORUS FTA has also faced some criticism. Some skeptics argue that the agreement has mostly benefited large corporations and has had negative effects on small businesses and workers in both countries. Others argue that the agreement has led to increased trade deficits for the United States.

Despite these criticisms, the KORUS FTA remains a significant trade agreement and a symbol of the strong economic relationship between the United States and South Korea. As the two countries continue to work together to expand trade and investment, the KORUS FTA serves as an important foundation for future collaborations and economic growth.


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