Posted by: mulrickillion | January 5, 2012

South Korean lawmakers call for renegotiation of trade agreement with US

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Candlelight vigil against the FTA in Seoul on 10 December 2011 (photo: Reuters)

VoA | December 27th, 2011 — South Korean lawmakers on Tuesday adopted a resolution urging the country’s government to renegotiate portions of the recently ratified free trade agreement with the United States.

The resolution by the National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee took issue with a clause in the treaty that would allow foreign investors to take trade disputes to an international arbitration panel. Critics say the provision infringes on South Korean sovereignty.

The committee also called for an investigation into whether any further changes need to be made because of possible conflicts with U.S. and South Korean laws.

The pact, known as the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, was signed in 2007, but only recently approved by U.S. and South Korean lawmakers.

The deal has proved particularly controversial in South Korea, where violence broke out in the parliamentary chamber and in the streets of the capital following a contentious vote in November.

Critics say the trade agreement unfairly favors the United States and will hurt farmers and small retailers. Supporters say the deal will increase South Korean exports and create jobs.

The deal – expected to come into effect in January – is the most significant pact for the United States since a 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

bilaterals.org | South Korean lawmakers call for renegotiation of trade agreement with US

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See also EDITORIAL – Justice Ministry’s KORUS FTA warning

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