Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The FTA has been berry berry good to me

US Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez is in Korea praising the ROK-US Free Trade Agreement.

From the Wall Street Journal:
Just over one year on from the implementation of the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, American companies see plenty of opportunities for export growth in South Korea, U.S. Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez said.

In Seoul as part of a trade mission with U.S. companies and for meetings with South Korean government officials, Mr. Sanchez said the benefits of the FTA are being seen but it would take a few more years for the full impact to come through.

“There’s been nearly a 50% increase in U.S. auto sales here (since the FTA started in March 2012), orange juice is up 160%. I could name probably another four or five sectors that are doing well,” he said in an interview.

“But I think over the long haul is when we can really do a true measure, over 3 to 5 years.”

U.S. exports to South Korea of items covered by the FTA rose 4.1% in the first 12 months after the deal took effect on March 15, but critics have pointed to a widening U.S. trade deficit with South Korea. Some industry groups, including auto makers, have complained about other barriers to full implementation of the agreement.

Mr. Sanchez said there was a mutual understanding with Seoul to work to resolve non-tariff barriers such as burdensome regulations.
More than the trade deficit itself, I'd like to know how much trade has increased. While parity is a nice benchmark, if both sides are selling hella more stuff, I'm happy.


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