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USTR says revised KORUS lowered barriers for U.S.-made cars

Autos 12:57 March 31, 2019

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- The revised free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea has lowered trade barriers on American-made cars and improved the origin verification procedure, a U.S. trade report showed Sunday.

In the 2019 national trade estimate report on foreign trade barriers, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said Washington and Seoul agreed to make amendments in their trade deal, known as KORUS, to include "improvements to remove a range of regulatory and non-tariff barriers."

The USTR highlighted the U.S. government's efforts to lower trade barriers in the auto sector by making amendments to the trade deal with South Korea.

Under the revised pact, Seoul agreed to double the 25,000-vehicle-unit threshold for U.S. car imports that do not have to comply with domestic industry regulations, which enables 50,000 vehicles to enter South Korea more easily.

The U.S. office also said the two nations agreed to make changes to origin verification procedures to address concerns of U.S. exporters.

"Progress was also made on outstanding issues relating to the implementation of KORUS, including agreement by the Korean government to follow certain globally accepted customs-related principles and to establish a working group to address issues related to origin verification." the USTR said.

Talks for KORUS revision started at Washington's request in early 2018, and the deal was signed in September.

The U.S. goods trade deficit with South Korea was $17.9 billion in 2018, a 22.4 percent decline from a year earlier. U.S goods exports to Korea reached $56.3 billion, up 16.6 percent from the previous year, according to USTR. South Korea was the U.S.' seventh-largest goods export market in 2018.

USTR says revised KORUS lowered barriers for U.S.-made cars - 1


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