Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Korean Ambassador Warns of US Trade Losses

September 21, 2010

Last week, the European Union and Korea agreed to implement a new free trade regime by July, but the United States lags behind on a similar arrangement. Yesterday, South Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo warned in a lecture at Brown that the United States faces resulting trade losses unless progress is made on the proposed Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.

"Failure to implement the FTA will lead to a loss of market share to competitors such as the EU and Canada and a loss of more than 345,000 US jobs,” he said, citing a report from the US Chamber of Commerce.

Also encouraging action was William R. Rhodes, who made his first public appearance yesterday as Brown’s newest professor at large by introducing Ambassador Han’s lecture. Rhodes, an international financial advisor with Citigroup and such organizations as the US-Korea Business Council, said that the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement is not only economically important, but also important to the United States’ strategic interests in the region. “Strategically, we have no better friend in Asia than Korea, and it has been proved again and again and again,” Rhodes said.

Han's lecture was part of the Chong Wook Lee and Vartan Gregorian Distinguished Lecture Series, co-hosted by the Watson Institute and the William R. Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance.