In November of 2013, South Korea formally expressed interest in joining the ongoing Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. By March 31, 2015, the 12 countries currently involved in the TPP negotiations, including the United States, had completed preliminary bilateral negotiations with Korea regarding South Korea’s eventual participation in the TPP. U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert said that the “U.S. welcomes
Korea’s interest in the TPP and looks forward to working with and consulting with the government of Korea on this issue.” However, the United States is reportedly concerned that, if South Korea were to join now, its addition would delay the ongoing negotiations. Accordingly, it is unclear when South Korea will join the negotiations.