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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Meets with Korea's Trade Minister Kim Jong-Hoon

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009



Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Meets with Korea’s Trade Minister Kim Jong-Hoon

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting with South Korea’s Minister for Trade Kim Jong-Hoon at the Commerce Department today. This was the first meeting between Minister Kim and Secretary Locke.

Secretary Locke and Minister Kim recognized the importance of the $83 billion in goods trade between the two countries in 2008. They expressed support for continuing to deepen cooperation on trade and investment issues.

“Korea, with a $1 trillion economy, is our eighth largest export market, and the Department of Commerce is committed to ensuring that U.S. companies can compete and win in this vibrant Asian market,” said Secretary Locke. “Our goal is to strengthen and expand the U.S.-Korea commercial relationship to increase trade and create more jobs at home.”

Secretary Locke and Minister Kim agreed that the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement has the potential to provide significant economic and strategic benefits to both countries, and committed to work together to find a way forward. The U.S.-Korea FTA was signed on June 30, 2007 and will require Congressional approval. In 2008, the United States exported nearly $35 billion in goods to Korea, and economic studies estimate that the FTA, once implemented, would generate billions of dollars in additional U.S. exports.