Taeho Bark, Trade Minister of Korea, delivered a speech entitled "The KORUS FTA, Korea’s FTA Policy, and the Dynamics of East Asian Economic Integration" at the Peterson Institute on May 16, 2012. Korea has conducted an effective trade policy over the last decade, negotiating FTAs with its partners from all parts of the world. The Korean initiatives thus offer a potential bridge between the "Asia track" of Asia-only agreements and the "Pacific track" characterized by the Trans Pacific Partnership, a key issue for the future trade (and political) architecture of the region and indeed the world economy.
Bark became Minister for Trade on December 30, 2011. He was previously professor of economics and dean of the Graduate School of International Studies at Seoul National University. He served on earlier occasions as a senior fellow and vice president of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy. During these periods, he also chaired the Korea International Trade Commission for three years and was a member of the Presidential Commission on the National Economy. He received his PhD at the University of Wisconsin and taught at Georgetown for four years.