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EU passes safeguard act for Korea FTA

BRUSSELS (Yonhap News) ― The European Parliament’s trade committee passed an enactment bill that outlines the use of trade safeguards once a free trade agreement with Korea goes into effect, local sources said Wednesday.

Parliamentary insiders said the Committee on International Trade passed the bilateral safeguard act with no objections raised by those taking part in the vote.

A safeguard arrangement allows a country to temporarily raise duties if there is a significant surge in imports that can hurt local businesses.

The committee, however, said that it needed more time before endorsing the Korea-EU FTA because there is a need the check a new bill announced by Seoul’s environment ministry that calls for tougher guidelines on fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.

Emphasis on the scrutiny will be placed on the effect this new law will have on European carmakers that want to ship vehicles to Korea.

Related to the decision to review the new law, a senior European official hinted that the Korea-EU FTA bill may be voted on at the parliamentary plenary session in March instead of February as originally predicted, although others said there are no changes to the timetable for ratification.

Meanwhile, Korea’s National Assembly said that it hopes counterparts in Europe will move forward on the ratification process, with Seoul expected to take corresponding steps to ratify the FTA that can boost bilateral trade and fuel economic growth. 

(Yonhap News)
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