South Korea to adopt American emissions safety standards image

The U.S. is asking South Korea to accept American automobile safety and emissions standards in an effort to advance a free-trade agreement, according to three people briefed on the talks.

Under the proposal, if American-made automobiles meet U.S. regulatory standards, South Korea would have to permit the vehicles to be sold in that nation, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are private.
One South Korean analyst said that “even if South Korea accepts American safety and emissions standards,” the current 10.1 percent of market share held by American cars won’t change much.

“There will be no big impact on demand for U.S. automobiles even if South Korea accepts American safety and emissions standards,” said Suh Jin Kyo, a director of research planning and coordination team at Korea Institute for International Economic Policy. Stricter regulation is not the main reason for U.S. automakers’ weak sales, he said.