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U.S. accuses South Korea of imposing trade barriers on cars

Staff Writer | December 13, 2017
South Korea has imposed different standards on American car imports, a major factor in generating the U.S. trade deficit with the Asian nation, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said.
Wilbur Ross
Auto industry   The automotive deficit
"The automotive deficit is the most important part of our trade deficit with South Korea," he told a forum here. "Korea imposes very different standards on American cars and gives a small quota for cars that don't have to meet those standards."

He also said South Korean requirements for U.S. auto imports are "not usual" and "not reasonable in the overall scheme of things."

Addressing the automotive sector will be a high priority in negotiations to amend the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, according to the secretary.

Earlier this year South Korea and the U.S. began a process to amend their five-year-old trade deal, known as KORUS, after U.S. President Donald Trump insisted it was causing a deficit in U.S. trade with the Asian ally.

The U.S. still enjoys a surplus in services trade and most experts agree the deficit in goods trade has been caused by macroeconomic factors.