August 20, 2018


WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Korea Business Council (USKBC) today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Commerce’s ongoing investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 into whether imports of vehicles and auto parts harm national security:

“The ongoing investigation into potential tariffs on auto imports in the name of national security casts unnecessary uncertainty on the South Korean relationship as that nation works to implement the recently-amended U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS),” said Charles Freeman, U.S. Chamber senior vice president for Asia. “The U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Korea Business Council believes that imposing tariffs on auto imports from a critical security partner and ally of the United States, such as South Korea, is counterproductive to a thriving relationship. U.S. exports to Korea and Korean investment in the United States are rising significantly, and imposing these tariffs would deal a staggering blow to this continued growth. Further, undermining the KORUS agreement could send negative signals to other countries in the region who might otherwise consider entering into trade negotiations with the United States.”

The U.S. Chamber’s USKBC is made up of major U.S. companies that do business in Korea and is the primary U.S.-based business organization promoting strong economic ties between the two countries. U.S. Chamber Vice President for Asia David Gossack serves as president of the USKBC. The USKBC is a leading supporter of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and works to promote strong economic ties and policies that support expanded bilateral trade and investment, innovation and private sector-driven growth in both economies.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 80 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.