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According to Yonhap News,
(SEJONG=Yonhap News) The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) announced March 23 a report on the current status and issues of the free trade agreement (FTA) between Korea and the United States. Since the effectuation of the bilateral FTA in March, 2012, Korea’s exports to and imports from the United States increased by 32 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
By industry, Korea’s exports to the United States more than doubled since the FTA’s effectuation with respect to the automobile and parts (127.96%) and metal industries (109.16%). Other manufacturing (2.85%) and chemicals (8.49%) industries grew less than 10 percent.
The number of export categories rose 2.1 percentage points while the number of import categories rose 1.9 percentage points. The Korea-U.S. FTA has clearly expanded bilateral trade in terms of quality and quantity.
Korea’s FTA utilization rate was 60.7 percent for imports and 43.8 percent for exports in 2014. The KIEP pointed out the need to reduce the FTA utilization gap between industries and for cooperation between the customs service offices of both countries, to ease the burden of companies to prove country of origin.
U.S. investment in Korea from the effectuation of the FTA to the end of 2014 totaled USD 10.4 billion, an 89.6 percent increase from the same period of time before the FTA went into effect.
According to the KIEP report, the two countries should reach a detailed agreement on the proof of origin, customs and overseas transfer of financial information. Korea should also closely review newly adopted measures, including low-carbon vehicle incentives, policies to lower medical costs and an organically processed food certification system.
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Source: Yonhap News (March 23, 2015)
** This article was translated from the Korean.