October 13, 2011 09:23
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate finally approved the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement on Wednesday, four years and three months after it was signed. Korea has still not ratified the FTA.
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill immediately after it is delivered to the White House the same day. It "will support at least 70,000 American jobs. This agreement has unprecedented support from business and labor," he said.
The FTA is the largest trade pact the U.S. concluded since the North American Free Trade Agreement that went into effect in 1994.
After years of twists and turns it took Congress just six working days to ratify the FTA bill after it was submitted on Oct. 3.
If and when Korea's National Assembly ratifies the deal, the FTA will go into effect 60 days after the two countries exchange letters confirming that they have finished their domestic procedure or on a date they agree on.
Meanwhile, President Lee Myung-bak is visiting the U.S. and will make a symbolic trip to the devastated auto city of Detroit with Obama on Friday, where they will make speeches about the economic effects of the FTA.
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