Trade Promotion Authority and the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement [March 2, 2011]   [open pdf - 221KB]

"On June 30, 2007, U.S. and South Korean officials signed the Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) for their respective countries. It is one of three free trade agreements currently awaiting submission to Congress for approval and implementing legislation. In June 2010, the Obama Administration announced plans to seek Congress's approval for the KORUS FTA after first engaging in talks with South Korea over U.S. concerns with the agreement as signed, particularly over its provisions involving market access for U.S. autos. The results of these talks are memorialized in three February 10, 2011, documents, which have been collectively referred to as the 'supplemental agreement' or 'supplementary deal' to the 2007 KORUS FTA. The Executive, in consultation with Congress, is expected to draft legislation approving and implementing the KORUS FTA and submit the resulting 'implementing bill' to Congress during the first session of the 112th Congress. This legislation will be entitled to consideration in Congress under expedited ('fast track') legislative procedures if it satisfies the requirements of the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2002 (Trade Act of 2002). In particular, the implementing bill must: (1) approve the agreement 'entered into' in 2007; and (2) include provisions enacting, amending, or repealing existing U.S. laws only to the extent that the provisions are 'necessary or appropriate' for the implementation of the agreement 'entered into' in 2007. Each chamber of Congress, acting independently of the other, has the authority to determine for itself whether the KORUS FTA implementing bill conforms with these requirements. To the extent either the House or the Senate finds that the bill satisfies the terms of the Trade Act of 2002, the bill will be entitled to receive an up-or-down vote without amendment and with limited debate in that chamber."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41544
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