Today, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with President Joe Biden at the White House. The meeting between the two leaders presents an opportunity to reinvigorate the longstanding, mutually beneficial partnership between the United States and Korea — especially as it relates to trade.
The two allies successfully negotiated revisions to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) in 2018, but Korea has been slow to implement its revised commitments. And a host of persistent regulatory barriers continue to keep U.S. businesses from expanding into the Korean market:
- Screen quotas require Korean movie theaters to show domestic films for 73 days per year, which undercuts the U.S. film industry.
- Limited transparency and due process for companies that apply for reimbursement prevent U.S. biopharmaceutical firms from selling medicines in Korea — and have kept Korean patients from accessing nearly two-thirds of all new medicines launched globally since 2011.
- Misclassification of SUVs as passenger vehicles — rather than light trucks — keeps U.S. car manufacturers from exporting SUVs to Korea.
- Unfair application of competition policies and improper patent regulation in competition proceedings make it difficult for U.S. companies to defend themselves in legal proceedings.
The Alliance for Trade Enforcement released this statement on the meeting between President Moon and President Biden.