Govt Officials Confident About FTA Fine-tuning

SOUTH KOREA - Government officials expressed confidence in the fine-tuning of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States and said that an accord will eventually be reached, though the process could take more time than expected.
calendar icon 17 November 2010
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A senior official of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said Wednesday that there was enough political momentum from both sides.

“The Presidents of Korea and the United States both want the deal to be made, so I expect that it will eventually be signed off on,” the official told reporters.

In the same briefing, an official of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said that no talks on more American beef imports will be included in the future FTA talks, according to The Korea Times.

“The beef issue is separate from the FTA. We can talk about this at anytime regardless of what is going on in the FTA,” he said. Korea bans imports of US beef from cattle older than 30 months. “If we lift the ban, then Korean consumers will shun US beef altogether. So the United States needs to be grateful that we ban the import of meat from older cattle,” he said.

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