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South Korea makes new push for US trade pact

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

South Korean president Lee Myung-bak has again called for the urgent ratification of a pending free trade agreement (FTA) with the US, which includes provisions to strengthen intellectual property protection for innovative drugs. In an address to the opening of the National Assembly (parliament), he also highlighted the need to improve the efficiency of the domestic health insurance system and increase medical support for low-income families, although no detailed plans were given. Mr Lee's cabinet recently approved a new bill pushing for the approval of the roughly year-old trade pact, which is still awaiting Congressional clearance in the US but has been dogged by disputes over automobiles and the safety of US beef exports to South Korea.

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