News reports said negotiations could take at least a year. However, approval by Congress may face opposition from critics of the Bush White House’s free trade policies. The benefit to Americans would be cheaper prices goods from South Korea, including cars, tires, cell phones, televisions and other consumer goods.
South Korea has the 11th largest economy in the world and U.S. exports into that market totaled $25.1 billion through November 2005. At the same time, South Korea exported some $40.1 billion in goods to the U.S., mostly in cars and electronics.