US Seeks Consultations With South Korea To Resolve Trade Agreement Concerns - USTR

US Seeks Consultations With South Korea to Resolve Trade Agreement Concerns - USTR

The United States has requested consultations under its free trade agreement with South Korea to resolve concerns over procedures in competition hearings of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, the Office of the US Trade Representative said in a news release on Friday

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th March, 2019) The United States has requested consultations under its free trade agreement with South Korea to resolve concerns over procedures in competition hearings of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, the Office of the US Trade Representative said in a news release on Friday.

"The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) today requested the first ever consultations with the Republic of Korea under the chapter on Competition-Related Matters (Chapter 16) of the United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).Through these consultations, the United States will attempt to resolve concerns regarding procedures in competition hearings held by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC)," the USTR said in the release.

The US agency explained that the KFTC has denied US parties certain rights during hearings, including the opportunity to review and rebut the evidence against them.

"Denial of this fundamental right undermines their ability to defend themselves," the USTR said.

The US is requesting the consultations after recently drafted amendments to Korea's "Monopoly Regulations and Fair Trade Act" failed to address Washington's concerns.

In January 2018, the US and South Korea started negotiating ways to revise the original free trade agreement, which was signed in 2007 and went into effect in 2012.

According to the revised deal, the United States will extend a tariff of 25 percent on imports of Korean pickup trucks by another 20 years. Seoul, on its part, according to the media outlet, with the introduction of new import rules will ease emission standards for cars that will be delivered in the period from 2021 to 2025.

In addition, the two sides agreed to amend the provision relating to the settlement of disputes between investors and the state, and to increase the transparency of procedures for conducting dumping and compensation measures.

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