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U.S.-EU trade deal expected to have little impact on Korea

A trade deal between the European Union and the U.S would have little impact on the Korean economy, which has its own free trade agreements with the two major export destinations, experts in Seoul said on Thursday.

“It is too early to talk about the detailed fallout of the EU and U.S. trade pact, but Korean exporters could be shielded by the two effective trade pacts with the U.S. and EU,” an official from the Korea International Trade Association said.

Concerns have been raised over the aftermath of the deal on Korean exporters, with the FTA talks between the U.S. and EU gaining momentum after the two governments agreed upon a timeline for the world’s largest trade deal on Thursday.

The EU said it would present draft negotiating plans in March to kick off trade talks with the U.S. this year and complete the deal within two years.

Regarding the degree of the market opening that the U.S.-EU FTA would seek, local exports forecast it would be similar to that of the Korea-U.S. or Korea-EU FTA.

“In this case, Korean goods and services will be treated equally in the two markets,’’ professor Chung In-kyo from Inha University said, adding that some of Korean exporters doing business in the U.S. and EU could tap new growth potential amid rising trade volume between the two economies.

Chung, meanwhile, advised to pay more attention to Japan’s reaction to the trade deal between the U.S. and EU.

“Japan, which has fewer FTAs than Korea, is expected to step up trade talks with the EU and its other major trade partners,’’ he said.

By Seo Jee-yeon  (