U.S. asks South Korea to accept American automobile safety and emissions standards

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 1, 2010

Aiming to advance a free-trade agreement, the US is asking South Korea to accept American automobile safety and emissions standards, according to three people with knowledge about the talks.

These sources disclosed that the US is proposing that if the American-made automobiles comply with US regulatory standards, South Korea would have to allow the vehicles to be sold in that nation.

The sources didn’t indicate if the provision is permanent or if it would only take effect during a transition period.

The US is asking for revisions in these provisions that cover autos and beef sales under the agreement, which was inked by the two countries in 2007 but had not been implemented. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that these changes are necessary in order to get the agreement passed by Congress.

Suh Jin Kyo, a director of research planning and coordination team at Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, said that even if South Korea accepts American safety and emissions standards, “there will be no big impact on demand for US automobiles.”

He pointed out that the weak sales of the US automakers cannot be mainly attributed to stricter regulation. [via autonews - sub. required]

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