The 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.
South Korean Free Trade Agreement
Talk to most analysts in the auto world, and they'll say that the recent rise of South Korean automakers like Hyundai and Kia have been an absolute blessing to the industry as a whole. Consumers now have an array of quality, inexpensive products, extra jobs have landed in rural areas of the deep south thanks to American-based manufacturing facilities and the competition from low-priced models have forced domestic manufacturers to up their game.