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US and South Korea Reach Landmark Trade Deal

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Financial Times (04/02/07) Fifield, Anna; Callan, Eoin The US and South Korea on Monday reported they have agreed on the terms of a landmark free trade deal that will become Washington's biggest pact in more than a decade, boosting trade by as much as $20 billion a year. The accord was reached just minutes before the final deadline, underlining the difficulties of forging consensus over sensitive sectors such as pharmaceuticals. "The agreement will generate export opportunities for US farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service suppliers, promote economic growth and the creation of better paying jobs in the United States, and help American consumers save money while offering them greater choices," US President George W. Bush said in a letter to the speaker of the US House of Representatives. Karan Bhatia, the deputy US trade representative, told the Financial Times on Monday that the agreement was "a very strong deal" that allowed for the elimination of more than 90 per cent of all tariffs within three years, and most of them immediately. "It's got state of the art chapters and the strongest chapters we've ever had in a variety of areas from pharmaceuticals to transparency and it has unique provisions that we've never crafted before and it has very strong market access," he said. The deal must be ratified by the US Congress, and must be sanctioned by the Korean National Assembly, a process that analysts warned could take some time. (Click here for more - May Require Paid Subscription

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