AAPC Statement on the Two-Year Mark of U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement

For Immediate Release:

March 12, 2014
Contact: Colin Dunn
(202) 400 - 2609

AAPC Statement on the Two-Year Mark of U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement

Washington, D.C. (March 12, 2014) - American Automotive Policy Council President Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on the upcoming two-year mark of the U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect on March 15, 2012:

“The two-year mark of the U.S. - South Korea Free Trade Agreement is an appropriate time to assess its impact.

"With South Korea announcing its interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, we strongly urge the United States to leverage this opportunity to address Korea’s frequent interventions in currency markets and to address market access issues U.S. automakers still encounter in Korea despite the implementation of the Korea - U.S. Free Trade Agreement.

"The prospect of including Korea in the TPP reinforces the importance of including strong and enforceable currency provisions in the agreement. In the past, the Korean government has intervened frequently in the foreign exchange markets to manage the value of the won to gain or retain a competitive advantage. It is critical the TPP include meaningful currency disciplines to ensure that current and future TPP members, especially those with a history of intervening in currency markets, do not use that tool to undermine market access commitments.

"Furthermore, the U.S. auto industry continues to face a myriad of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) in Korea. New auto NTBs are creating uncertainty and preventing U.S. automakers from executing a coherent business plan to increase sales. In addition, a number of domestic policies dealing with labor and competition policy issues are creating a very difficult business environment for foreign companies operating in Korea. The U.S. should leverage TPP to ensure Korea fulfills its commitments to create an open economy."

The American Automotive Policy Council, Inc. (AAPC) is a Washington, D.C. association that represents the common public policy interests of its member companies Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company.