U.S. and South Korean negotiators reported progress on their pursuit of a free trade deal on Friday, including an agreement regarding autos.
We've made substantial progress in our discussions. It's time now for the leaders to review this progress before we move forward, said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a released statement.
The progress comes after nearly four days of talks this week in meetings in Columbia, Maryland. The countries have been without a free trade agreement for more than three years.
President Barack Obama had hoped to score a diplomatic victory on trade with South Korea during the G20 summit in Seoul in November, but no agreement was reached at that time.
South Korean trade negotiator Kim Jong-hoon told reporters the negotiation had produced a substantial outcome on the autos and other limited areas during the ongoing talks, according to the Yonhap news agency.
I hope the legislatures of South Korea and the United States will be able to ratify the deal next year, he said.
Details of the deal are expected to be released at a later time.