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South Korea: US trade authority requests consultations to talk competition

 |  March 18, 2019

The US trade authority on Friday requested consultations with South Korea under the US-Korea free trade deal to address the US government’s concerns about competition hearing procedures of a Korean antitrust watchdog.

This would be the first time for the two countries to meet for consultations under the Korea-US FTA since the trade pact took effect in 2012.

“The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) today requested the first ever consultations with the Republic of Korea under the chapter on Competition-Related Matters of the United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement,” the USTR said in a statement on Friday, local time. “Through these consultations, the United States will attempt to resolve concerns regarding procedures in competition hearings held by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC).”

Before the USTR’s official request for the consultations, the USTR has raised competition-related issues several times, but the issues have not been addressed yet, the US government said.

The USTR stated that the KFTC hearings have “denied US parties certain rights, including the opportunity to review and rebut the evidence against them,” adding that “denial of this fundamental right undermines their ability to defend themselves.”

Full Content: Pulse News

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