Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

Korea FTA: stalling on Kaesong?

The latest round of US-Korea discussions over a free trade area were broken off prematurely on July 14, mainly over confusions on pharmaceutical trading. Both parties agreed to resume in September, with tariff cuts on textiles and apparel included in the next round of issues.

But there are strong hints that Kaesong will be a major sticking point. Korea has been pressing the U.S. to include the Kaesong complex – technically in North Korea, mostly staffed by North Koreans, but operated by South Koreans and heavily dominated by clothing factories – as part of the FTA.