Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications [June 27, 2008] [open pdf - 0B]
"On June 30, 2007, United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab and South Korean Foreign Trade Minister Kim Hyung-chong signed the proposed U.S.-South Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) for their respective countries. If approved, the KORUS FTA would be the largest FTA that South Korea has signed to date and would be the second largest (next to North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA) in which the United States participates. South Korea is the seventh-largest trading partner of the United States and the United States is South Korea's third largest trading partner. Various studies conclude that the agreement would increase bilateral trade and investment flows. […] Some U.S. supporters view passage of the KORUS FTA as important to secure new opportunities in the South Korean market, while opponents claim that the KORUS FTA does not go far enough. Other observers have suggested the outcome of the KORUS FTA could have implications for the U.S.-South Korean alliance as a whole. Differences between the White House and the Democratic leadership in the Congress over the implications of the KORUS FTA have made the timing and even the likelihood of the President's submission and Congress's subsequent consideration of implementing legislation uncertain. Agricultural groups and some Members of Congress now are monitoring South Korea's recent decision to accept imports of U.S. beef -- a move that Korea hopes will make it easier for the White House to submit the agreement to Congress. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34330