Korea-U.S. Trade Partnership: KORUS FTA: Working Together for Growth and Job Creation
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Home | About the Korea Trade Partnership (KORUS FTA)

About Korea-US Trade Partnership


The U.S.-Korea relationship began with the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1882. It was Korea’s first treaty with a Western nation. Korea chose to sign it because it viewed the U.S. as the most-fair-minded country in the world. This image still remains in the minds and hearts of the Korean people.

After the ashes of the Korean War settled in 1953, the U.S. began helping Korea redevelop its economy through low-interest loans, investment, and broad-based security measures, such as the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1953.

Korea is now the world’s 15th largest economy and hosted the G20 Summit in November 2010. The U.S.-Korean alliance has been instrumental in Korea’s economic development and remains the bedrock of Korea’s political and economic policies.

The KORUS FTA will strengthen Korea’s longstanding security and economic relationship with the U.S. and serve as a pillar for the alliance in the 21st century. Its impact will go far beyond bilateral commercial benefits, such as trade growth and job creation. It will unleash new dynamics in the geostrategic landscape on the Korean peninsula and beyond.

In addition, the KORUS FTA will anchor the U.S. strategic economic position in East Asia and cement its leadership in the most dynamic and rapidly-growing economic region in the world.

The U.S. and Korean governments signed the KORUS FTA on June 30, 2007. It includes 24 chapters. It provides for significant reductions in tariffs on industrial and agricultural products and includes state-of-the-art commitments in intellectual property rights, investment, transparency, competition policy, e-commerce, and services.

The agreement has bipartisan support in Congress and in the business community. In July 2010, 101 members of Congress signed a letter supporting President Obama's commitment to "moving KORUS forward." In July 2009, USTR invited public comments on the KORUS FTA and received more than 300 from the business community and individual stakeholders. About 92% were in favor of the KORUS FTA.