South Korea's chief negotiator for free trade is in Brussels today for more talks concerning free trade agreements between the 27-nation economic bloc and South Korea. Indeed, the EU is looking to broker a deal that would be similar to the Free Trade Agreement signed by Korea with the United States last year. Unfortunately, the negotiations have been tough, as six rounds of meetings have not yielded as much as was expected.
The European Union has been strict on the "rules of origin" legislation which has been an issue in the talks. "South Korea has demanded the EU ease its rules of origin, under which a product is considered as manufactured by a trading partner only if at least 60 per cent of the finished item is made in that country."
After all, the EU is the largest foreign investor in South Korea, with investments that reached close to $45 billion last year alone. If tariffs are reduced, trading between the two entities would increase as well, which would benefit everyone. In the end, it is important to remember that trade with the EU is essential, as trade agreements not only ease commercial partnerships with a single state, but twenty-seven of them, including 4 of the G8 nations.