SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – Seoul and Washington have shared that there is no problem in South Korea’s entry into the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership deal as the two sides already have a free trade deal with high standards, an official said Sunday.
An Chong-bum, senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, told reporters that the United States welcomes South Korea’s participation in the world’s largest trading bloc.
Trade ministers of the U.S. and 11 other nations reached the TPP deal earlier this month, which accounts for about 40 percent of global gross domestic product.
An also said the U.S.’ welcoming message is included in a joint fact sheet issued after President Park Geun-hye held summit talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday.
Park told South Korean and U.S. business leaders in Washington last week that Seoul’s entry into the TPP will bring many benefits to South Korean and American companies.
Park also said in a separate speech in Washington that South Korea is a natural partner of the U.S. over the TPP, citing free trade deals Seoul has already signed with 10 members of the TPP.
South Korea has clinched a series of free trade agreements with major trading partners, including the U.S. and China, in recent years as part of its efforts to boost growth in the country’s export-driven economy.
South Korea’s exports represent around 50 percent of its gross domestic product.