Obama wants progress on Korea-US FTA

Updated On: Nov 20, 2009

SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama expressed hope to work out details on the pending free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea, eyeing its ratification as early as next year, South Korean media reported Thursday, quoting the president's interview with a U.S. broadcaster.

"We are going to be discussing this with South Korea. I want to get the deal done," Obama was quoted as telling Fox News, when asked if he thinks the South Korea-U.S. FTA would be passed in Congress.

"The question is whether we can get it done in the beginning of2010, whether we can get it done at the end of 2010. There's still some details that need to be worked out," Obama said, adding that he thinks it is a potential good deal for U.S. exporters.

However, he also expressed concerns on the deal, saying "there's certain sectors of the economy that aren't dealt with as effectively and that's something that I'm going to be talking to President Lee (Myung-bak) about."

Although Obama did not elaborate, it seemed Obama referred to an imbalance in auto trade and restricted shipments of U.S. beef, South Korean news channel YTN said.

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Source: Xinhua, "Obama expresses hope to hasten S. Korea-U.S. FTA ratification: media," November 19, 2009, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-11/19/content_12490789.htm

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