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In Search of a Breakthrough for the Korea-EU FTA Negotiations


  • Lee, Yong-Kee
  • Song, Joo Ho


The purpose of this paper is to seek a breakthrough for the Korea-EU FTA negotiation in agriculture which started last year, but has not made much progress yet. The EU has been asking Korea to open its agricultural market to the same extent that was agreed upon in Korea’s free trade agreement with the U.S. while the Korean government firmly opposes the EU’s request, saying that FTA negotiations differ from multilateral trade talks as in the WTO. An examination of agricultural trade among Korea, the EU, and the U.S. shows that there may be many niche markets of which the EU can take advantage over other agricultural exporting countries including the U.S. Also, it is expected that the EU could gain much from its agricultural trade with Korea through an FTA, even without a market access level equal to one stipulated in the Korea-U.S. FTA accord. As far as agriculture is concerned, the slower does the talk proceed, the better to Korea, with the EU losing huge expected trade gains. It is suggested that the EU needs to be more flexible in the talks by focusing on a new strategy that can maximize trade diversion effects stemming not only from price but from non-price factors, rather than simply asking for the same level of market opening as in Korea-U.S. FTA. This would be the better way for the EU to become a winner in the battle for Korean agricultural market.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Yong-Kee & Song, Joo Ho, 2008. "In Search of a Breakthrough for the Korea-EU FTA Negotiations," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44207, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44207

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    Korea-EU FTA; Agricultural Trade; Trade Diversion Effects; International Relations/Trade;

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