US-S.Korea reach pact on free trade image

The U.S. and South Korea have restarted a stalled free-trade agreement between the two countries that includes car imports.

The South Korean government has agreed to steps sought by the White House to open its market to more U.S. auto exports, a main sticking point of the talks that have gone on for months but intensified in the last four days.

South Korea will cut its 8 percent tariff on U.S. automobile imports to 4 percent immediately, instead of eliminating it entirely, according to a White House fact sheet.
Both nations will scale back initial tariff cuts for cars, and South Korea said it would allow more imports of U.S.-made vehicles that meet American standards and not Korean rules. The U.S. will maintain a 25 percent tariff on truck imports for eight years instead of beginning to phase it out immediately.

Under the agreement, the US will maintain its 2.5% tariff on imported Korean cars for five years and then lift the tax entirely.