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FTA to boost Korean car exports

Korea Times

FTA to Boost Korean Car Exports

6 July 2006

More Korean automobiles and more Korean auto parts will roll into the United States if South Korea and the U.S. reach a free trade agreement, government officials and auto industry sources said Thursday.

In a gathering of 200 experts in Kunsan, South Cholla Province, government policymakers said a free trade agreement (FTA) with Washington will compel local carmakers to improve manufacturing productivity and technological innovation, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Such improvements are needed to stay ahead of U.S. car imports that will no longer be affected by duties. South Korea currently imposes import duties of 8 percent on foreign cars.

“An FTA is expected to push carmakers to better meet consumer demands, which in turn will translate into more sales,” said Lee Tae-yong, head of the Commerce Ministry’s trade promotion office.