South Korean parliament ratifies trade agreement with U.S.

Reuters

South Korea’s parliament has ratified a revised bilateral free trade agreement with the United States on Friday, the trade ministry said, paving the way for the deal to come into effect on Jan. 1, with the main impact on automakers.

Under the revision, the countries agreed to extend U.S. tariffs on South Korean pickup trucks by 20 years until 2041.

U.S. automakers will also be able to ship 50,000 vehicles per automaker that meet U.S. safety standards — not necessarily South Korean standards — up from 25,000 vehicles previously.

The United States is a long-standing ally of South Korea and second-biggest trading partner, after China.

The ministry statement said it would prepare for the new deal’s implementation from the new year through discussions with the U.S. government.

The two nations signed the altered agreement in September but needed approval from their legislatures.