As we wait, with some hope, for congressional discussions and subsequent action on reauthorizing Trade Promotion Authority, we note that others are not waiting.
S. Korea, Canada agree to speed up FTA talks
SEOUL, May 1 (Yonhap) — South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-soon and his Canadian counterpart Peter G. MacKay agreed to expedite bilateral talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) during their meeting in Seoul on Tuesday, ministry officials said.
The talks took place after MacKay’s arrival here for a two-day visit.
“Song and MacKay shared the view that a South Korea-Canada FTA will deepen bilateral commercial and trade relations and bring economic benefits to both countries,” said a ministry official, adding that the Canadian minister asked Song’s cooperation in having South Korea resume imports of Canadian beef.
Korea-EU FTA Talks Get Official Go Ahead
The Korean government officially decided to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Union in a meeting of government officials presided over by Finance Minister Kwon O-kyu on Tuesday. The EU is also ready to begin talks, following an April 23 External Relations Committee meeting in Luxembourg in which member countries unanimously approved negotiating mandates for the trade pact.
Now that the preliminary work is finished, both sides will officially announce the start of FTA talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Sunday. The first round of talks will be held at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul from May 7 to 11.
The negotiations will progress in four sections: goods; services and investment; regulations binding government supply, intellectual property rights, and competition policies; solving conflicts, general provisions, labor, and the environment.
And just to be explicit, we offer this Reuters story from the previous week.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will lose its ability to negotiate new trade deals unless Congress renews White House trade promotion authority, which expires in a little more than two months, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said on Tuesday.
“If trade promotion authority lapses and is not renewed, we’re basically going to be sitting on the sidelines while lots of other countries are out there negotiating bilateral and regional trade agreements,” Schwab told members of the President’s Export Council, a private sector advisory group.
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