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Chrysler, Ford Publicly Oppose Free Trade Agreement with South Korea

By Kevin Robinson in News on Nov 10, 2010 2:00PM

The ad Ford ran last week in newspapers around the nation.
Ford Motor Company and the Chrysler Group LLC, are opposing a proposed free trade agreement with South Korea, saying that the treaty would open the American market to South Korean-produced vehicles without doing enough to open the Korean market to American exports.

Ford made its opposition known late last week, launching a website about the trade deal and running full page color ads in major newspapers in Washington, D.C. and around the United States. Chrysler, which operates a large plant in Belvedere, Illinois said in a statement to The Hill that it has “supported every free trade agreement negotiated by the U.S. government,” but “cannot support this agreement in its current form," adding that “the United States is already open to Korean vehicles and that’s why the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement must be used to fully and irreversibly open Korea to American-made vehicles.”

Ford, which builds the Taurus and the Explorer in Chicago, wants U.S. negotiators to get Seoul to eliminate barriers to the sale of U.S. made vehicles in Korea, or to maintain tariffs on cars and trucks manufactured in Korea and sold in the United States. Washington has resumed talks on the trade deal this month, and while Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives, Ford Vice President for International Governmental Affairs Steve Biegun told The Hill that the automaker has strong support from Republican lawmakers on the trade deal.