Bush Talks Free Trade in South Korea

Presidents pledge to work to open markets.

Published on: Aug 7, 2008

President Bush met with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak on Wednesday in Seoul as part of an Asian tour. Although protestors continue to voice disapproval of Lee's opening of the market to U.S. beef, that situation was not discussed during the press conference or the summit between the two leaders. Instead they discussed the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement.

"The United States and Korea are working to open up markets," Bush said. "We concluded a free trade agreement with Korea and it's an important agreement for the United States. It's important for our businesses, it's important for our workers and I'm going to push hard for it."

The South Korean president echoed that pledge. The free trade agreement has been pending Congressional approval for quite some time. Congress had declared that the deal would not be ratified until the import of U.S. beef was addressed. It remains to be seen if action will be taken after last week's shipment of U.S. beef to South Korea.

President Bush also visited Thailand Wednesday on his way to China for meetings with leaders there and attendance of the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.