DENVER (AP) – South Korea’s ambassador to the U.S. says it’s becoming more urgent for Congress to ratify a long-pending free trade deal between his country and the U.S.

The pact would phase out several tariffs, including a 40 percent tariff on U.S. beef.

South Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo said Wednesday at a lunch hosted by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. that Congress should act soon because South Korea may soon reopen its markets to Canadian beef, and Australia and the European Union are progressing on their own free-trade agreements with South Korea.

Ratification of the Korean free trade agreement has been held up by U.S. lawmakers’ concerns on restrictions on U.S. autos and beef. The countries reached a compromise last year easing concerns on autos, but the deal didn’t address beef.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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