Wednesday, November 11, 2009

U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and pending FTAs

by M. Ulric Killion

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Ron Kirk, the “United States has free trade agreements in force with 17 countries.” These countries as listed by the USTR are:
The USTR also reports that the “United States has signed free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama, but Congress must enact legislation to approve and implement each individual agreement in order for them to go into effect.” Source: Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Summaries and Text
>>See Full Text of the Agreement (English) here.
>>See Full Text of the Agreement (Spanish) here. 
Reports on the Agreement
>>See ITC Report here.
>>See Interim Environmental Review here.
  • The United States and Panama signed a trade promotion agreement, sometimes called a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), on June 28, 2007. Panama approved the TPA on July 11, 2007. The United States has not yet approved the TPA.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative has also received “Public Comments Concerning the Pending Colombia and Korea Free Trade Agreements.” According to the USTR, “United States Trade Representative Ronald Kirk announced today that USTR has received more than five hundred responses to requests for public comment on the free trade agreements that have been negotiated with Colombia and the Republic of Korea. USTR had issued notices at the end of July inviting comment by interested parties by noon today, September 15. In its ongoing effort to identify and resolve outstanding issues related to the pending free trade agreements, USTR sought comments on stakeholders' views of the costs and benefits of the FTAs, how well they accomplished the objectives of the 2002 Trade Promotion Authority Act, and what concerns they may have with the agreements.” . . . .

As earlier mentioned, the free trade agreements, though signed, with the Republic of Korea and Columbia are pending ratification by U.S. Congressional approval. Despite the importance of ratifying both of these pending FTAs, the decision concerning ratification, thus bring into effect these agreements, will, ultimately, resolve to a political decision by the U.S. Congress. Moreover, a U.S. Congressional decision to ratify these critical FTAs will serve as a measure of the United States’ commitment to multilateral world trade.

Additionally, the following articles and essays discuss the politics of the ratification of both the KORUS FTA and the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, notwithstanding the critical economic and diplomatic significance of these pending FTAs.
1). Korea-EU FTA failed to finalize, but still pending, which cites the following sources:   
  • Jim Abrams, Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk confirmed as US trade representative, AP, March 18, 2009, (Chicago Tribune). 
  • Killion, M. Ulric. 2004. China’s Foreign Currency Regime: The Kagan Thesis and Legalification of the WTO Agreement, 14 Minn. J. Global Trade 43, (Winter).  
  • Bettina Wassenger, Tentative Free Trade Deal for S. Korea and Europe, NY Times, March 24, 2009.
  • South Korea, EU Reach Agreement On FTA, Bernama (Malaysian news agency), March 24, 2009.
3). Pending Ratification of the Korea-US FTA (KORUS FTA) and calls for renegotiation, which cites the following sources:
  • Anthony Faiola, U.S. to Toughen Its Stance On Trade, Washington Post, March 10, 2009, A01.
  • M. Ulric Killion, Regional Economic Integration, Aug. 2008.
  • South Korea/US: FTA jumps major hurdles, faces others, Oxford Analytica, International Herald Tribune, April 2, 2007.
  • NAFTA Secretariat website
  • Lawmakers Postpone Korea-U.S. FTA Bill, Chosun Ilbo  (Arirang News), March 5, 2009. 
  • Korea-Singapore Trade Doubles Since 2005 FTA, Chosun Ilbo  (Arirang News), March 2, 2009
  • Dan Griswold, NAFTA at 10: An Economic and Foreign Policy Success, Cato Institute, Free Trade Bulletin, No. 1: December 17, 2002, >> Read full article - PDF version of Free Trade Bulletin No. 1.
  • Chung Hae-kwan, The Korea-Chile FTA: Significance and Implications, East Asia Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring 2003, pp. 71-86, >> Read full article – PDF version.
  • Free Trade Agreement between EFTA and South Korea,(European Free Trade Association), European Reports, September 4, 2006.
Copyright © Protected - All Rights Reserved M. Ulric Killion, 2009.

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