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Last Updated:[24-04-2009 06:36:57 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

S. Korean Parliamentary Committee Approves the US-Korea FTA amid Opposition

tradenews A South Korean Parliamentary Committee has ratified the FTA with the US in an effort to get it tabled in the parliament for the final vote. The draft will be sent to the plenary session of the parliament that is scheduled to be held on 29 and 30 of this month.

The chairman of the National Assembly's foreign affairs and trade committee, Park Jin declared that the accord had been approved by the committee despite stiff voice of discontent among the opposition members. Moreover, the opposition lawmakers have criticised the one-upmanship of Park for not putting the accord into vote before approval.

The opposition Democratic Party called the declaration as null and void since it had blatantly ignored the public sentiments. On the other hand, a senior parliamentary official said there was no precedence that such decisions by a parliamentary committee being overridden later. Therefore, whenever the deal got tabled it would be ratified in that session, the official added.

However, according to sources, the ruling Grand National Party leader of the floor, Hong Joon-pyo is understood to have said that his party had no intention to seek parliamentary ratification during the coming session. And ratification of the deal in all likelihood would be tabled only after reviewing the outcome of the possible summit between the US and South Korea in June this year.

Though the US and Korea have signed the deal in 2007, the follow up to the process has been delayed several times due to peoples’ protest in both countries since then. However, the advocates of the deal stated that one of the largest trade deals for both countries would significantly help to remove the pall of gloom in the current economic scenario, and further boost bilateral ties.

By Jose Roy

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