KOREAN TRADE FLAP: Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) said in a speech Thursday that a free-trade pact with South Korea was in jeopardy. He cited South Korea’s insistence on giving duty-free benefits to apparel, footwear and cosmetics products made in an industrial park in North Korea, a nation the U.S. has cited as a nuclear threat. The U.S. and South Korea just completed the first round of negotiations for a bilateral FTA and cited a number of contentious issues, including market access for U.S. agricultural and auto exports. A South Korean conglomerate runs the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea. Seoul has touted the industrial park as a test project that could help the capitalist and communist governments work toward reunification. Many members of Congress oppose commercial ties with North Korea.

This story first appeared in the June 16, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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