Governor wants more trade with South Korea

Sep 15, 2010

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, on a trade mission in Asia, signed an agreement with South Korea yesterday to increase collaboration on trade and technology, according to a San Francisco Chronicle column by Andrew S. Ross. Today the governor was scheduled to call for ratification of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement.

The state's current trade relationship with South Korea includes exports of $500 million in California agricultural products - beef, rice, nuts, oranges. UC Agricultural Issues Center, Dan Sumner, told Ross South Korea is an ideal export market for the state.

"We are talking about a market of 50 million increasingly affluent consumers who really like and are willing to pay for high-quality, safe agricultural products, and that is something that California has to offer," Sumner was quoted in the column.

However, it looks like ratification of the free trade agreement faces an uphill battle in Washington D.C. There are issues with "reciprocity" concerning beef and cars, the story said.

"You can't say to our auto industry, 'You can sell so many cars to South Korea, and the Koreans are selling a hundred times more here,'" the article quoted Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. "So, we'll see."

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist