The 3rd Round of Korea-US FTA Talks coming...

Original Publication Date: 
22 August, 2006

The third round of talks over the Korea-U.S. FTA will be held in Seattle in the United States -a famous battleground of the WTO protests in 1999-from 6th to 9th September. The third round of FTA talks is very crucial because the South Korean government and US had almost completed the negotiations of the general framework of the agreement in the last negotiation in Seoul in July and will sort out the details of it in the upcoming negotiation. Drug pricing system and import of US beef, which is NOT proved to be free from mad cow disease, are being expected as halting points of the next talks. Both of them were preliminaries of opening the Korea-US FTA. But Korean people have suspicion that both governments have done on the draft of the FTA.

There is much possibility to reach an agreement in the meeting with the US side over the drug pricing system just before third Korea-US FTA negotiation. Meeting over drug-pricing system will be held in Singapore, 21st-22nd August.

As for the beef issues, 31 US senators sent a letter to President Rho Moo-hyun in early August, which urged Korean government to open the beef Market as soon as possible. They threatened that the US would not continue the FTA talks if the ban was not lifted. The government is planning to import US beef when some Korean experts finish inspection of US beef processing facilities despite rising people's anger against the US beef imports. If these process are done, the proposed FTA and especially the 3rd round talks will get the momentum to finalize.

The Korean Alliance against Korea-U.S. FTA(KoA) is planning to send a delegation of around 100 people to represent the various social, student, worker, intellectual and farmer movements against Korea-U.S. FTA and will work in solidarity with American social and labor movement.