No FTA talks until Seoul resumes beef imports: US

ChosunIlbo, Korea

No FTA Talks Until Seoul Resumes Beef Imports: U.S.

4 June 2005

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman on Friday said Korea must resume import of U.S. beef and lift a screen quota that disadvantages Hollywood films if it wants to start negotiating a free trade agreement with Washington.

Portman, who is attending the meeting of APEC trade ministers on Jeju Island, made the remarks in a press conference of his own, saying negotiations on an FTA between the U.S. and South Korea "can start only if a substantial progress is made in unfinished issues between the two countries."

Since the safety of U.S. beef had been verified by international agencies, Portman urged Korea to resume importing it. The U.S. trade representative met for dinner with Korean Trade Minister Kim hyun-chong on Friday.

Turning to growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over textiles, Portman said his country’s safeguard actions against Chinese textile were based on provisions of a protocol China signed when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) three years ago and conformed with WTO regulations.

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