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U.S. Sets Landmark New Deal on Trade

Bloomberg News A worker inspects vehicles intended for export at the Port of Pyeongtaek in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, in March.

by Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. and South Korea struck a deal to revive a broad pact that could drop barriers on a wide array of goods and services, setting the stage for what would be the biggest nation-to-nation trade deal since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

Negotiators for the U.S. and South Korea—the world’s No. 1 and No. 15 economies, respectively—broke a three-year impasse over the bilateral agreement early Friday by reaching accord on a deal to gradually lower U.S. tariffs on Korean automobiles.

On a day marred by weak employment numbers, the deal gave a boost to Mr. Obama’s efforts to double U.S. exports by 2015 and to build support with the nation’s biggest multinational corporations.

U.S. businesses that stand to benefit from a South Korea free-trade agreement include financial services, agriculture and manufacturers of big-ticket capital goods. Corporate leaders Friday began weighing in to support the proposed deal.

“This agreement is a U.S. jobs creator. It sets the stage for a dramatic increase in U.S. exports of manufactured goods, agricultural products and services to a dynamic and growing Korean economy,” Jim McNerney, the chairman, president and CEO of the Boeing Company, said in a statement.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has frequently feuded with the White House, put its muscle behind the agreement, bringing an entourage of business and industrial boosters to November’s Group of 20 meeting in Seoul in support of the effort to secure a deal.

Seoul would immediately cut its tariff on U.S. auto imports in half, to 4%. A 25% tariff levied by the U.S. on South Korean truck imports would remain in place for eight years, while the corresponding South Korean tariff on U.S. trucks, 10%, would be cut immediately.

Wall Street Journal

I had given up hope when Obama came home from South Korea empty handed.

But it looks like he succeeded in mending his relationship with Wall Street. And the unemployed, business leaders forecast a private sector growth in the hundreds of thousands.

Back to the Clinton era we go?

In other news, GM’s stock rose due to the new trade