Korea, Australia conclude FTA negotiationsUpdated: 2013-12-05 PM 4:32:42 (KST)
Korea's trade ministry said Thursday that it has finalized negotiations for a free trade agreement with Australia.
The two nations have concluded negotiations on all issues, including writing the investor-state dispute, or ISD, settlement system into the trade pact.
The FTA talks had been stalled since 2010, amid Australia's opposition to including the ISD settlement system in the proposed agreement.
The two countries aim to cut tariffs on most of the products traded within 8 years after the trade deal goes into effect.
Tariffs on Korean automobiles and electronics that currently have an average tariff of 5 percent will be cut immediately.
Tariffs for auto parts, meanwhile, will be cut within 3 years.
Korea's agriculture sector, however, will take a hit from the trade pact, as the tariffs on Australian agricultural exports such as wheat, dairy and beef will be eliminated.
Korea's trade ministry said that it tried to minimize the trade deal's impact on local farmers by agreeing to cut tariffs on Australian beef gradually over 15 years.
Australia is Korea's seventh-largest trading partner, while Korea is Australia's fourth-largest trading partner.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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Say "no" to free trade agreements and "yes" to mercantilism. Practice mercantilism and 'juche'.