USITC to Advise USTR on Proposed KORUS Changes Related to Auto Duties

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The U.S. International Trade Commission late last week sent out a note that it is looking for input on a new investigation concerning proposed modifications to the U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), specifically related to customs duties for motor vehicles.

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Recently, the U.S. and South Korea reached an agreement in principle to revamp the free trade agreement, which originally went into effect in 2012.

“The investigation, U.S.-Korea FTA: Advice on Modifications to Duty Rates for Certain Motor Vehicles, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on April 6, 2018,” a USITC release said. “The letter included an attachment detailing the articles affected by the proposed modifications.”

The USITC will submit its advice to the USTR by June 1, according to the announcement.

On March 28, USTR Robert E. Lighthizer and Republic of Korea Minister for Trade Hyun Chong Kim issued a joint statement announcing they had reached an agreement in principle regarding revisions to KORUS.

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U.S. goods and services trade with Korea was an estimated $144.6 billion in 2016, per the USTR. Exports were $63.8 billion; imports were $80.8 billion, making for a goods and services trade deficit with Korea of $17.0 billion in 2016.

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