US, South Korea hold last-ditch session on trade agreement

November 11, 2010 04:17

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea and the United States made last ditch-efforts Thursday to salvage a planned free trade agreement that has stalled because of differences over the sensitive auto industry and imports of American beef

Trade chiefs from the two countries held an extra session of midnight negotiations ahead of a scheduled meeting between Presidents Barack Obama and Lee Myung-bak later Thursday, officials said."If we can reach the standard for a fair trade agreement that the president has set out on particularly autos, we will move forward," White House spokesman Jen Psaki said in Seoul. "We hope to continue making progress."

The two sides have been holding make-or-break negotiations to infuse new life into the deal to slash tariffs and other barriers to trade that was signed in 2007 when previous administrations were in power. It remains unratified by lawmakers in both countries.

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