Congressmen urge Obama to expedite Korea FTA

  • Published : Mar 30, 2010 - 12:52
  • Updated : Mar 30, 2010 - 12:52
A bipartisan group of Congressmen has urged U.S. President Barack Obama to expedite the process for the ratification of a free trade deal with Korea pending for more than two years, the Yonhap said.

In a letter submitted to Obama Friday ahead of the U.S. President`s visit to Seoul later this month, Adam Smith(D-Washington) and 87 other Congressmen said, "We urge you to prepare the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement for congressional consideration."
Among the other congressmen are 43 Democrats and 44 Republicans, including Ike Skelton (D-Missouri), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Dave Reichert (R-Washington) and Joseph Crowley (D-New York).

They recognized that "there are still some concerns with the agreement" and urged Obama to "engage with Korea to resolve these matters."

Autos and beef have been major hurdles to congressional approval of the KORUS FTA.
U.S. officials have said they favor side agreements to address the issues rather than revising the text of the deal itself.

Many Democrats are concerned that giving the deal a final nod would draw a backlash from trade unions -- a political power base for the party -- as fears mount over job losses amid the country`s worst recession in decades.