The United States late Thursday boasted start of a new free trade agreement with South Korea that allows American exporters new access to a trillion dollar economy. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) marks a "historic milestone" that will further boost trade and investment between the two countries, according to a statement released by the State department. The agreement will allow new market access for businesses and create U.S. jobs at home, the State department said, calling it a "powerful signal of America's commitment to the Asia Pacific and to securing and sustaining our role as a regional leader and Pacific power." The pact was signed in 2007, but not approved by lawmakers in either country until late last year due to political opposition and changes of government in both countries.
It will eliminate tariffs on more than 7,000 South Korean products and nearly 62,000 American goods and services. South Korea says it will create 350, 000 jobs and expand the country's GDP by nearly six percent over the next 10 years It is the most significant pact for the United States since a 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.