Image 1 of 1
Long Beach, California, January 24, 2011 - Han Duk-soo, South Korea's Ambassador to the United States (second from left) giving his name to a security officer before boarding a boat during a tour of the Port of Long Beach along with Chamber of Commerce representatives, South Korean advisors and local businessmen. The delegation was in town as part of a sustained effort since 2007 to sell the idea of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement to the US. Final language is still being worked out, but the agreement could come to a vote in the next few weeks. ..The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement would eliminate tariffs on 95% of U.S. goods within five years of its signing and could boost U.S. exports by $11 billion annually, the International Trade Commission estimates. It would also reduce trade restrictions and tariffs on U.S. auto and beef exports while continuing American tariffs on South Korean autos for a limited time. Southern California would almost certainly be a major beneficiary. Nearly $16 billion in goods moved between South Korean and Southland ports in 2009. The Los Angeles area is home to an estimated 600,000 Korean Americans, many of whom have strong business ties to their homeland and are heavily invested in the local economy. Southern California's entertainment industry also supports the pact, which would clamp down on unauthorized copying and sharing of music and videos in South Korea, where piracy is a serious problem..