US, South Korea Cut Trade Deal

Could mean tens of thousands of jobs for US
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2010 6:16 AM CST
In this Nov. 8, 2010, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk arrives to meet his South Korean counterpart Kim Jong-hoon at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea.   (Ahn Young-joon)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration has completed a free-trade agreement with South Korea that it expects to jack US exports by billions and create at least 70,000 jobs. The deal, the largest since NAFTA 16 years ago, was reached yesterday after trade reps for both sides reached a deal on automobile tariffs, reports the New York Times. It must be ratified by both countries' legislatures, and heads to Congress next year.

Up to 95% of tariffs on consumer and industrial goods would be rolled back within five years, the AP notes, which is expected to increase US exports by at least $10 billion. “This is a big win for American employers and workers,” said GOP Rep. Dave Camp, the incoming Ways and Means Committee chair. Democrat Max Baucus, meanwhile, blasted the end result as not going far enough on US beef exports, another sticking point.
(Read more South Korea stories.)

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