Korean flagThe powers-that-be in the States are working on getting the go-ahead for a free trade agreement, like NAFTA, but this time with South Korea. The agreement itself was signed and sealed in 2007, but it hasn't actually gone into effect yet because Congress won't approve it, and that's because of two hangups, one being emissions regulations that the U.S. maintains is a non-tariff barrier to selling cars in in South Korea.

One South Korean analyst said that "even if South Korea accepts American safety and emissions standards," the current 10.1 percent of imported car market share held by American cars won't change much. That share has dropped year-on-year, and with the agreement in effect and a push to increase exports, the U.S. would like a proper shot at turning that around. European makes, on the other hand, have 62% market share. The two countries will confer next month on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Seoul in a final effort to harmonize and implement the trade agreement.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]