SOUTH KOREA: Fails to find textiles agreement with US
South Korea and the US held their sixth round of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations in Seoul this week, but failed to hammer out deals on key sectors such as textiles, autos and pharmaceuticals.
Even though the two countries discussed textiles in the deputy cabinet-level talks, negotiators failed to narrow differences over key textile issues such as tariffs.
South Korea has proposed removing textile tariffs over five years while the US insists on ten years.
South Korea also wants the US to ease the so-called 'yarn-forward' rule of origin, which allows textile products with only domestically-produced yarns to be sold in the US market duty-free.
Most South Korean textile products are made of cheap Chinese yarns.
South Korea has also called on the US to count items such as shoes and garments made in North Korea's Gaesung industrial complex as South Korean products.
Many South Korean companies are trying to move their production base to the North complex to take advantage of the country's cheap labour cost.
The seventh round of FTA negotiations between the two countries will be held in the US next month.
By Peter Chang.
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