Cars hold up S. Korean trade deal

The agreement is not without controversy in South Korea, too. Family farmers worry about importing more U.S. beef. Hyundai's autoworkers union is also opposed.

Yet, Korean trade officials argue that the deal should not be held up. When it comes to autos, the deal "should not be held hostage by just one sector," says Hye-min Lee, a deputy government minister for trade issues.

Others warn that if the U.S. stalls, the South Koreans may sign a free trade pact with the Europeans. "We will lose," says Tami Overby, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.

Getting the agreement moving likely will involve further negotiation on automotive issues.

William Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council in Washington, says he thinks a deal with South Korea, after Panama and Colombia, "will get taken care of eventually."

But Frank Vargo, vice president for international economic affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers, also in Washington, says, "We recognize it's not going to go anywhere until something happens on cars."

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