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US requests consultations with South Korea under the free trade pact

The United States and South Korea last year renegotiated some aspects of the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement


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The has requested consultations with South Korea under the two nations' free trade pact to try to resolve US concerns about procedures in competition hearings held by a

"Some of these hearings have denied US parties certain rights, including the opportunity to review and rebut the evidence against them," the Office of the US Trade Representative said in a statement. "Denial of this fundamental right undermines their ability to defend themselves." The (KFTC) in December 2016 fined US mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Inc over $900 million for what it called unfair business practices in patent licensing and modem chip sales. The company has contested the ruling.

A official said a number of US information technology and other companies have been affected by in recent years.

The and South Korea last year renegotiated some aspects of the Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to address US complaints about the trade deal that was first implemented in 2012. But these changes were largely focused on the automotive sector to protect the and provide greater access to the South Korean market.

The official said that South Korea had been working through a process to amend its competition laws before the KORUS negotiations started. Once it became clear late last year that the draft amendments, sent to South Korea's National Assembly in December, did not address US concerns, decided to proceed with the consultations request.

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 20:20 IST