European Parliament debates South Korea FTA
The European Parliament and the European industry need to have the right to perform additional investigations in case South Korean imports would compromise European producers.
This opinion was voiced by the European Parliament, caring for the fate of predominantly the European car industry. This industry fears increased competition from affordable Korean cars.
The EU and South Korea decided to liberalise mutual trade connections in October 2009. The European Parliament, however, has to approve of this – and approval is not expected before fall of 2010.
For the agricultural sector, the trade deal is of major importance as the EU is exporting a lot of agricultural products to South Korea, predominantly dairy (milk powder) and (pork) meat.
Negotiating a EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement is extra timely as the US is in a somewhat similar position. A trade deal with South Korea has been agreed on some years ago but in order to set things in motion, US Congress has to approve as well.
Trade unions and the car industry have so far been delaying the process of approval in the US. At the World Pork Expo, recently held in Des Moines, Iowa, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) representatives reminded the audience of the importance of having the trade deal ok'd.
Calling it 'probably the most important trade deal in the history for US pork producers', NPPC representative Nick Giordano warned that if the US does not ratify the FTA it could be out of the Korean pork market in ten years. He said Iowa State University research indicated 9,000 new jobs in the US pork industry would be created as a result of ratification.
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