U.S., S. Korea Fail on Trade Pact

The U.S. and South Korea have failed to reach a free-trade agreement. President Obama says he still hopes for an agreement with South Korea in the next few weeks, and that the G-20 nations will reach “a broad-based consensus” on reconciling trade imbalances at the Seoul conference, but the lack of a pact going into the conference will take away some of his momentum. Obama reiterated the case for a free-trade agreement in a press conference after his meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, saying, "The most important thing that the United States can do for the world economy is to grow, because we continue to be the world's largest market and a huge engine for all other countries to grow.” After the conference, Won Hee-ryong, secretary general of Korea's ruling Grand National Party, said, "We shouldn't make unnecessary concessions because we're pressed for time.”