US-South Korea Trade Deal Hits the Rocks

But broader G20 pact near
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2010 8:21 AM CST
US-South Korea Trade Deal Hits the Rocks
US President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak during a joint press conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010.   (AP Photo/Yonhap News Agency)

After days of furious negotiating, the US has failed to strike a free trade deal with South Korea. President Obama still hopes that the deal can be reached within a few weeks, but probably not before Obama leaves Seoul, the LA Times reports—a Korean official said that Lee Myung-bak had adopted a “wise negotiating stance,” deciding that “we shouldn’t make unnecessary concessions because we’re pressed for time.”

The larger G20 summit, however, does appear to be near an agreement that will, at least cosmetically, address the tensions between the nations. The deal will include previously agreed upon language about letting markets determine currency values, but won’t include Chinese commitments to let the yuan rise. It’ll pledge to narrow trade deficits, but won’t include the hard targets the US would like, the Wall Street Journal reports. (More Barack Obama stories.)

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