(New York Times – Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Sewell Chan)
President Obama and President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea failed to reach an agreement Thursday on a long-awaited free-trade agreement, saying they had decided instead to give their negotiators more time to work out differences, which revolved around Korean imports of American autos and beef.
The two men said at a news conference that they expected a deal to be reached soon. By soon, Mr. Obama said, he did not mean months. “We want this to be done in a matter of weeks,” he said.
Even so, the delay is a setback for Mr. Obama, who is on a 10-day, four-nation swing through Asia that he has promoted as a mission to boost the American economy and create jobs. He has made trade – and in particular, the doubling of American exports over the next five years – a centerpiece of his agenda, and it had been widely expected that he would leave here with a deal with the South Koreans in hand. Read more here.
Date: November 11, 2010