Korea US FTA Set to Take Effect

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At midnight, (Seoul time) Korea will become the only Asian country to have implemented free trade agreements with the world’s two largest markets.

The pending Korea-U.S. FTA comes into effect almost nine months after Seoul implemented a similar deal with the 27-member European Union on July 1. With it, tariffs on a whopping 82.1 percent of goods imported from the U.S. will be immediately removed, while fractionally fewer, or 80.5 percent, of the products that Korea ships to the U.S. will have their tariffs waived.

This will make the lion’s share of Korean goods in the U.S. significantly more price competitive, helping Korean businesses increase their share of the market there. At the same time, cheaper U.S. products are expected to help tame runaway inflation in Korea, which the government has been struggling to put a lid on.

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