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March 15, 2012
Jobs On The Way: U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement Enters Into Force

 

February 21, 2012
United States, Korea Set Date for Entry Into Force of U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

 

February 18, 2012
Update on Implementation of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

 

January 25, 2012
Update on Implementation of Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama

 

January 6, 2012
Update on Implementation of Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama

 

December 19, 2011
Update on Implementation of Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama

 

December 5, 2011
Update on Implementation of Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama

 

October 21, 2011:
Statement By U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk On Presidential Signature Of Trade Legislation

 

October 13, 2011
BLOG: Statements Regarding the Congressional Approval of the Korea, Colombia, and Panama Trade Agreements

 

 

FACT SHEET: From Enactment To Entry Into Force: Next Steps On The Trade Agreements

 

October 12, 2011:
Statement By U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk On Congressional Passage Of Trade Agreements, Trade Adjustment Assistance And Key Preference Programs

 

October 3, 2011
U.S Trade Representative Ron Kirk Calls for Swift Passage of Trade Agreements 

 

 

August 3,2011:
Kirk Comment on Pending Trade Agreements, Trade Adjustment Assistance 

 

July 7, 2011:
USTR Kirk Comments Following Trade Markups In Senate Finance, House Ways and Means Committees

  

July 5, 2011:
Statement from USTR Kirk Regarding Announcement of House Ways & Means Committee Markup

 

June 30, 2011:
Ambassador Kirk Statement Regarding the Planned Informal Markup in The Senate Finance Committee

 

June 29, 2011:
INFO: Links on Pending Trade Agreements, TAA, Preference Programs

 

June 28, 2011:
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Welcomes Next Steps on Pending Trade Pacts, Trade Adjustment Assistance

 

April 7, 2011:
Statement by Ambassador Demetrios Marantis before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade

 

February 10, 2011:
Signed Legal Texts Related to the U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement 

 

December 3, 2011:
Statement by the President Announcing the U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement  

 

Important U.S.-South Korea Links


Port of MiamiBenefits for Your Industry: USTR Fact Sheets

This Agreement would eliminate tariffs on over 95 percent of industrial and consumer goods within five years. It will promote the further integration of the U.S. and South Korean economies and enhance the competitiveness of U.S. businesses in the world’s 12th largest economy. Visit USTR's Fact Sheet page to find out how the agreement will specifically benefit your sector.

 

Tractor in a fieldBenefits for Your Farm: Agriculture Fact Sheets

The United States is already South Korea’s top supplier of agriculture products, including of a broad variety of farm products such as almonds, fresh cherries, hides and skins and corn. The U.S.-South Korea trade agreement creates new opportunities for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors seeking to export to South Korea’s 49 million consumers, giving American agricultural producers more market access in two ways – by getting rid of tariffs charged when U.S. exports come into South Korea, and by laying out a framework to tackle other barriers to U.S. exports –even those that might arise in the future. Visit the Department of Agriculture's website to find out how the agreement will benefit your sector.

 

Manufacturing PlantBenefits for Your Sector: Industry Fact Sheets: Benefits for Your Sector

The U.S-South Korea trade agreement creates new opportunities for U.S. manufacturers seeking to export to South Korea in two ways: first, it eliminates tariffs, or duties, charged when U.S. exports come into South Korea; and it addresses non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports – whether by eliminating barriers that are in place today, or by establishing a framework to prevent non-tariff barriers from arising in the future. Visit the Department of Commerce's website to find out how the agreement will benefit your sector.  

 

AgreementFull Text of the Agreement

Read the full text of the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement, which is an integral part of the President’s efforts to increase opportunities for U.S. businesses, farmers and workers through improved access for their products and services in foreign markets, and supports the President’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling of U.S. exports in 5 years. You can find the Legal Texts reflecting December 3, 2010 Agreement here. You can also find an updated text of the South Korean-language version of the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement here.

Support for the U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement

Statements of support for the U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement from various elected officials, the business community, and advocacy groups can be found below.

 

Visit Your Government Trade Partners

Visit USTR's partners across the federal government to learn more about their part in the trade agreement.

Department of Agriculture Seal     Department of Agriculture

Commerce Seal     Commerce Department

Labor Department Seal     Department of Labor

OMB Seal     Office of Management and Budget

Export Import Bank Seal      Export-Import Bank

SBA Seal      Small Business Administration

OPIC Seal      Overseas Private Investment Corp.

USTDA Seal      Trade and Development Agency

State Department Seal      State Department

Labor Protections in the U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement

Trade Agreement Home  •  Jobs  •  New Opportunities  •  Meet American Businesses  •  Key Facts

HardhatThe U.S.-South Korea trade agreement sets high standards for protection of workers’ rights in trade agreements – including obligations for South Korea to respect fundamental labor rights – not to weaken them in any way – as well as to effectively enforce existing labor laws, in order to help maintain a level playing field for American workers to compete. The agreement contains groundbreaking labor elements that were first outlined on May 10, 2007, in a bipartisan, Congressional-Executive agreement to incorporate high labor standards into America’s trade agreements.

KEY ELEMENTS

  • Under this agreement, the United States and South Korea commit to adopt and maintain, in our laws and in the ways we implement those laws, the five fundamental labor rights as stated in the 1998 International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work – and to submit to formal legal proceedings if either side fails to meet that promise. These include rights regarding:

    • Freedom of association – the right to form and join a union;

    • Collective bargaining – the right for workers to negotiate better conditions together;

    • Elimination of all forms of compulsory or forced labor;

    • Effective abolition of child labor and a prohibition on the worst forms of child labor; and

    • Elimination of employment and occupation discrimination based on gender, race, or other factors.

  • South Korea has an advanced industrial relations system, with strong labor unions able to assert labor rights on behalf of workers. South Korea began enacting a series of reforms in December 2006 that have strengthened worker rights, from raising the minimum wage to reducing limits on the right to strike.

  • The agreement calls for the American and South Korean governments to work together to improve labor standards and to cooperate on matters including unemployment insurance, worker adjustment programs, occupational safety and health, and labor-management relations.

  • Both the United States and South Korea commit not to waive or otherwise fail to apply labor laws in ways that are inconsistent with fundamental labor rights. This will not only protect these rights, but will help to preserve a level playing field for American workers.

  • Both the United States and South Korea commit to effectively enforce labor laws related to fundamental labor rights, as well as all laws that govern acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health. Workers and employers in both South Korea and the United States will be guaranteed access to tribunals – judicial, administrative, or other forms – where they can see their rights enforced. The governments of the United States and South Korea have to ensure that proceedings before those tribunals are fair, equitable, and transparent.

  • The South Korean government will be held to the same level of accountability for meeting labor commitments as it is for meeting other commitments in the agreement – from market access to intellectual property protection. Available remedies for failure to meet labor commitments will include trade sanctions and fines.

  • The agreement requires the United States and South Korea to establish procedures that allow members of the public to raise concerns directly with the governments if they believe labor obligations are being violated. If a member of the public believes that South Korea is not meeting its labor obligations, he or she may submit information to the United States that the Administration must review and consider.