March 15, 2012

An Overview of the US-Korea, US-Colombia, and US-Panama Free Trade Agreements

Arnold & Porter Advisory

On October 21, 2011, following approval by the United States Senate and House of Representatives, US President Barack Obama signed legislation implementing free trade agreements (FTAs) between the United States and South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The legislatures of Colombia and Panama had previously ratified their respective agreements. Despite serious resistance from South Korean opposition parties, the South Korea National Assembly also recently approved the US-Korea FTA. These FTAs have a long history—the original agreements were signed in 2006 (Colombia) and 2007 (South Korea and Panama)—but were not ratified for more than four years. Before the agreements enter into force, the US undertakes consultations with each foreign government to ensure each nation is in compliance with the FTA terms that will be given immediate effect. The agreements then enter into force after an exchange of diplomatic letters. The US and Korea have completed their exchange of diplomatic letters and the US-Korea FTA entered into force on March 15, 2012. This advisory provides an overview of the FTAs.

A Spanish version of this Advisory is available by clicking here.

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