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Corrigendum: EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement: EPP Group to lead support for ratification. Pawel Zalewski MEP and Pablo Zalba MEP

Date

26 Jan 2011

Sections

Global Europe
Trade & Society

Replaces previous version

"The EPP Group will lead the ratification of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, the most comprehensive agreement of this kind ever negotiated by the EU, which will lead to a fairer trade partnership between both parties", said European Parliament Trade Committee Vice-Chairman, Pawel Zalewski MEP and Pablo Zalba MEP today.

"This agreement will place EU companies in a better position than their competitors from the USA or China in the area. It also marks a starting point of a series of free trade agreements which will provide growth opportunities for all of them", said Mr Zalewski after today's meeting of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee.

One of the keys to the success of this FTA with Korea will be the effective implementation of the safeguard clause 'to assure fair business competition in the interest of sensitive EU industries such as the automotive, electronic goods or textile industries", said Pablo Zalba, who has been in charge of the negotiations of the mechanism.

"We wanted an EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement but not at any price and the conditions of the safeguard clause to protect EU industries were essential to our final assessment. Three months of negotiations have been necessary to obtain the most effective and easy-to-apply protection mechanism to address possible problems with South Korean exports of some goods. We have obtained these conditions which make the whole agreement more attractive for European industry", Mr Zalba explained.

The International Trade Committee approved the compromise on the bilateral safeguard clause accompanying the EU-South Korea FTA reached with the EU Council. The European Parliament draft consent for the agreement as a whole will be voted in Committee on 7 February.

Both issues will be presented to the Strasbourg Plenary in March and it will be the first time that Parliament has applied its new Lisbon Treaty co-decision powers in the field of common commercial policy.

The FTA with South Korea was first agreed on 15 October 2009 after two and a half years of negotiations. The deal is expected to create substantial new trade in goods and services of €19.1 billion for the EU compared to €12.8 billion for Korea, according to European Commission prospects.

For further information:
Paweł ZALEWSKI MEP, +32-2-2845481
Pablo ZALBA BIDEGAIN MEP, +32-2-2845307
Joanne Bekker, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, +32-476-943388
Pedro López de Pablo, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, +32-475-493352

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.

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