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Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman issued the following statement regarding the announcement made by Deputy Prime Minister Hyun Oh-seok of the Republic of Korea regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):
“The United States welcomes Korea’s expression of interest in joining TPP. Korea plays an important role in the regional economy, and its interest in the TPP demonstrates the significant importance of this initiative to the region.
"In close consultation with Congress and our domestic stakeholders, we look forward to consulting with Korea at an appropriate time to lay the groundwork for Korea’s possible entry into the TPP. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement already demonstrates that Korea and the United States share a common approach with regard to certain rules for trade and investment. As with previous prospective members, these consultations will focus on Korea’s readiness to meet high standards across the TPP, as well as to address outstanding bilateral issues of concern including full implementation of existing obligations.
“President Obama, the other TPP Leaders and their teams are currently working actively to complete the negotiations. Given that prior to entry any new member needs to complete bilateral consultations with current TPP members and those members need to complete domestic processes, as appropriate, the possible entry of any new country would be expected to occur after the negotiations among the current members are concluded."