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Italy lifts objections to EU-South Korea trade deal

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Italy lifts objections to EU-South Korea trade deal

September 16, 2010 11:16 CET

ROME (Reuters) -- Italy has lifted its objections to an EU free trade agreement with South Korea on the condition that the pact does not come into effect before June 30, 2011, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the Italian government was refusing to drop its veto of the agreement due to fears that the deal would flood the European market with Korean cars.

EU trade deals with third countries require the backing of all 27 member states

EU officials say the free trade agreement, initialled last October, will create about 19 billion euros' ($24 billion) of new exports for EU producers. Combined EU-South Korea goods trade was worth about 53 billion euros in 2009.

Last week, EU governments made other concessions to Rome over the deal.

Among them was a promise that an EU-South Korea treaty will be at least as profitable as South Korea's planned accord with the United States, and will have a mechanism to protect automakers such as Fiat S.p.A. from surges in small car imports.

The European Parliament, which must also approve the treaty, informally backed a provision last week that will allow Europe to tax or limit South Korean car imports in the event of a sudden import surge.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100916/ANE/309169979/1193#ixzz0zhnoXsby

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