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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Meets With Korea's Minister of Knowledge Economy Kyunghwan Choi

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, July 120, 2010

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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Meets With Korea's Minister of Knowledge Economy Kyunghwan Choi

Locke and Choi hold inaugural meeting of new Committee on Commercial Cooperation

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting with Korea’s Minister of Knowledge Economy (MKE) Kyunghwan Choi today at the Commerce Department.  This was the first meeting between Locke and Choi and the first meeting of the Commerce-MKE Committee on Commercial Cooperation, which was created through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2009. 

In their meeting, Locke and Choi confirmed the importance of further strengthening the U.S.-Korea commercial relationship and continuing to deepen cooperation on trade and investment issues. Both expressed support for removing barriers to trade, including finding a way forward on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). They agreed that the KORUS FTA has the potential to provide significant benefits to manufacturers, service providers, farmers, ranchers and workers in both the United States and Korea. 

“Finishing up the agreement is a top priority for both President Obama and President Lee,” Locke said. “The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement holds tremendous potential to create and support jobs in the United States.”

Immediately following their meeting, Locke and Choi gave remarks to convene the opening session of the Committee, which then held working-level subcommittee meetings in three areas for enhanced bilateral cooperation: 1) trade and investment, 2) high technology and strategic trade; and 3) standards and research and development cooperation.

Korea is the eighth largest export market for U.S. businesses, and overall, Korea is the United States’ seventh largest trading partner.