U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement: Effects on Small Firms

The U.S. Trade Representative has requested the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) conduct a study of the U.S.  Korea Free Trade Agreement: Effects on U.S. Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

One of the primary goals of the President s National Export Initiative is to increase export opportunities for America’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), a working group has been set up to develop ways for SMEs—specifically, U.S. firms with less than 500 employees, regardless of revenue—to take advantage of export opportunities created by the Agreement. The USITC s investigation is intended to assist in understanding the impact of KORUS on U.S. SMEs since it took effect in March 2012.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, fact-finding federal agency, will provide, to the extent practicable, a report discussing the effects of the KORUS on the production, distribution, and export strategy of U.S. SMEs, as identified by those SMEs, and describing how U.S. SMEs have benefited from specific provisions of the KORUS. The report will also explore challenges that U.S. SMEs may have faced in exporting to Korea. The investigation will cover trade in goods and services and intellectual property, and it will examine U.S. SME sectors listed in the three prior USITC reports on SMEs released in 2010.

The USITC investigation will be conducted over approximately the next six weeks. They are seeking assistance and information from any parties with an interest in exports to Korea by U.S. SMEs, including specific firms with any experience in this trade, industry associations, and your own organization.

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