“We successfully amended the Korea-U.S. FTA last year, and our national assembly — our congress — ratified it,” Cho said during an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. “So from this month, the amended, new KORUS FTA is effective.”
After the countries effectively concluded talks to modify KORUS in March 2018, the Trump administration in September released a protocol setting forth necessary changes to U.S. law to implement the modifications agreed to.
U.S. changes took effect Jan. 1, including changes announced in a Dec. 21 White House proclamation ordering the total phaseout of the United States’ 25 percent tariff on pickup trucks from South Korea be extended through 2040, after the tariffs had been previously set to expire in 2021.
Cho noted that the key amendments to KORUS apply to trade in automobiles and mentioned that South Korea is now allowing 50,000 U.S. car exports per year to be exempt from South Korean safety regulations, up from 25,000 cars.
In addition to new automotive provisions, amendments include modifications of customs processes and provisions promoting greater market access for U.S. pharmaceuticals in South Korea.
Revamped customs procedures include clearly allowing for completion of certifications of origin by exporters or producers regardless of their location or address and allowing importers, exporters or producers to correct minor errors or discrepancies in the certification, questionnaire or other documents, with no penalty for making such corrections, which customs authorities must allow to be submitted in not less than five working days.