Scientific Equipment Sector

An Expert's View about Electrical, Measuring and Testing Equipment in South Korea

Posted on: 11 Jun 2012

Korea is the 6th largest export market for U.S. scientific equipment exports.

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement: Opportunities for the U.S. Scientic Equipment Sector The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement would provide signicant commercial opportunities for U.S. exporters: • Korea is the 6th largest export market for U.S. scientic equipment exports; failure to pass the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement would enable exporters from the EU and other countries to gain key advantages over U.S. exporters to Korea. • Estimated duties paid on exports of U.S. scientic equipment to Korea were over $152 million from 2008 to 2010. Tari elimination could allow U.S. rms to reinvest in technology and product improvements. • All U.S. scientic equipment exports would receive duty-free treatment within three years of implementation of the trade agreement; Korean scientic equipment taris currently average 4.7 percent, ranging up to 8 percent. Scientic Equipment Sector Overview U.S. Scientic Equipment Exports to • The scientic equipment sector accounted for over $1.5 billion in U.S. Korea Averaged $1.5 Billion exports to Korea over 2008-10 (average) or nearly 5 percent of total 1 U.S. industrial exports to Korea. $2.0 • Top U.S. scientic equipment exports to Korea include certain mea- surement instruments, analytical instruments, optical instruments for $1.5 testing and inspecting semi-conductors, and lasers. $1.0 • In 2009, U.S. production of scientic equipment products was over 2 $43 billion. $0.5 • The U.S. scientic equipment sector employed over 191,000 workers 3 in 2009. $0.0 2008 2009 2010 • The Korean market oers areas of opportunity for U.S. exporters in the area of scientic equipment, including smart meters, instruments for testing and inspecting semiconductors, telecommunications test equipment, lasers, and analytical lab instruments. More than 99% of U.S. Scientic Equipment Exports to Korea W o uld be Duty-Free Immediately Improved Market Access for U.S. Scientic 0.2% Equipment Exporters to Korea • Korean scientic equipment taris average 4.7 percent, ranging from zero to 8 percent. 4 Immediate • More than 99 percent of U.S. scientic equipment exports to Korea would receive duty-free treatment immediately upon implementation 99.8% of the trade agreement. 3 Y e ars • Taris on the remaining U.S. scientic equipment exports to Korea would be eliminated over three years. 1 Global Trade Atlas. Calculations by the U.S. Department of Commerce based on import data as reported by Korea. The denition for scientic equipment used in this report, unless otherwise cited, is based on Harmonized System (HS) Headings 9023-24, 9026-28, and 9030-32. 2 U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, selected NAICS codes within 333 and 334. Shipments used as a best available proxy for production. 3 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 4 Data based on a three-year average for 2008-2010. April 2011 Additional information available at: in Billions USD Foreign Competition in the Korean Market • Korea signed a trade agreement with the EU in 2009, which is sched- uled to enter into force in July 2011. It also recently signed an FTA with Peru, which is also scheduled to enter into force this year. Korea presently has FTAs in force with ASEAN, Chile, India, Singapore, and EFTA. In addition, Korea is negotiating new agreements with Aus- tralia, Canada, Colombia, New Zealand, and Turkey; is considering launching FTA negotiations with China; and is exploring re-launching its stalled negotiations with Japan. • Top U.S. competitors include Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and Japan. • EU scientic equipment exporters, such as those in Germany and the UK, will immediately benet from an average tari of zero percent upon entry into force of the EU-Korea FTA, while U.S. exporters will face an average most favored nation (MFN) tari of 4.7 percent until 5 entry into force of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement. Key States Exporting to Korea • Top U.S. states exporting scientic equipment to Korea include: California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, South Carolina, Michigan, Connecticut, and Ohio. Other Key U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement Commitments for the Scientic Equipment Sector • Rules of Origin: The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement rules of origin allow only products that are produced in the United States and Korea to receive preferences under the Agreement. The trade agreement rules of origin provide clear requirements for a good to be considered originating, including that a good must be wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of the United States or Korea as well as requirements on materials that are used in the production of the good. Importers may claim preferences under the trade agreement based on a certication by the importer, exporter, or producer or based on the importer’s knowledge that the good is originating, but certications need not be in a prescribed format. • Government Procurement: Korea and the United States are members of the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement and already enjoy open and trans- parent access to each other’s government procurement markets. The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement enhances this relationship by increasing the procurements to which U.S. suppliers will be ensured non-discriminatory access by reducing the goods and services threshold to $100,000 from $203,000 for central government entities. The Agreement also incorporated important improvements that reect the emerging practices in procurement, such as reducing the tendering period for “o-the-shelf” goods and services and encouraging the use of electronic tendering. • Technical Barriers to Trade: The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement strengthens disciplines to promote transparency in the way governments develop and apply technical regulations and related conformity assessment procedures (e.g., testing and certication). For example, Korea agreed to provide national treatment, or the same treatment applied to Koreans, to U.S. persons for participation in the development of stan- dards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures; and to accreditation, licensing or approval of U.S. conformity assessment bodies. • Transparency: The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement includes strong transparency obligations, with commitments that the national governments of both parties would to the extent possible publish proposed regulations in advance, allow a reasonable opportunity to com- ment, address signicant substantive comments received, publish nal regulations in an ocial journal of national circulation, and provide sucient time between publication of the nal regulation and implementation of the regulation to allow stakeholders to adjust. The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement also includes strong anticorruption provisions obligating the Parties to adopt and main- tain anti-bribery measures in international trade and investment. Parties further commit to maintain appropriate penalties and procedures to enforce such anticorruption rules, and to protect persons who report any of the criminal acts. 5 U.S. Department of Commerce calculations based on EU-Korea FTA and U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement tari commitments. April 2011 Additional information available at: U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration The International Trade Administration - Your Global Business Partner The International Trade Administration (ITA) – a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce – strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements. ITA also utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. For more information on exporting to Korea, please contact: • The ITA office of the U.S. Embassy in Korea at or 82-2-397-4535, or by visiting our website • The ITA trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting For more information on the U.S.- Korea Trade Agreement, please visit and For more information on industry-specific issues, please visit
Posted: 11 June 2012

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