Metals and Ores Sector

An Expert's View about Metals, Metalworking, Glass and Minerals in South Korea

Posted on: 11 Jun 2012

Korea is the 6th largest market for U.S. metals and ores exports.

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement: Opportunities for the U.S. Metals and Ores Sector The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement would provide signicant commercial opportunities for U.S. exporters: • Korea is the 6th largest market for U.S. metals and ores exports; failure to pass the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement could 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. metals and ores products to Korea were over $275 million from 2008 to 2010. Tari elimination could allow U.S. rms to reinvest in technology and product improvements. • More than 99 percent of current U.S. metals and ores exports to Korea would receive duty-free treatment within three years of implementation of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement; Korean Metals and Ores taris currently aver- age 3.8 percent, ranging up to 8 percent. Metals and Ores Sector Overview U.S. Metals and Ores Exports to Korea • The metals and ores sector accounted for $3.5 billion in U.S. Averaged $3.5 Billion exports to Korea over 2008-10 (average) or 11.5 percent of total 1 U.S. industrial exports to Korea. $5.0 • Top U.S. metals and ores exports to Korea include ferrous and $4.0 aluminum scrap, zinc, steel, aluminum, and copper scrap. $3.0 • In 2009, U.S. production of metals and ores products was over 2 $246 billion (or nearly 6 percent of U.S. manufacturing output). $2.0 • U.S. SMEs exported over $569 million in metals and ores to $1.0 3 Korea in 2008. $0.0 • The U.S. metals and ores sector employed over 629,000 work- 2008 2009 2010 4 ers in 2009. Improved Market Access for U.S. Metals and Ores More than 99% of U.S. Metals and Ores Exporters to Korea Exports to Korea Would be Duty-Free Within Three Years • Korean metals and ores taris average 3.8 percent, ranging 1% from zero to 8 percent. 6% 5 • More than 93 percent of U.S. metals and ores exports to Korea would receive duty-free treatment immediately upon imple- Immediate mentation of the trade agreement. 3 Y e ars • Taris on an additional 6 percent of metals and ores exports to 5 Y e ars Korea would be eliminated over three years and taris on a fur- ther 1 percent of metals and ores exports would be eliminated 93% over ve years. 1 Global Trade Atlas. Calculations by the U.S. Department of Commerce based on import data as reported by Korea. The denition for metals and ores used in this report, unless otherwise cited, includes products within Harmonized System (HS) Chapters 26, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, and HS Headings 7106 to 7112. 2 U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, selected NAICS codes within 331, 332, and 339. Shipments used as a best available proxy for production. 3 U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, NAICS 331 and 332. 4 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, selected NAICS codes within 331, 332, and 339 (non-seasonally adjusted). 5 Data based on three-year average for 2008-2010. April 2011 Additional information available at: in Billions USD Selected Sub-Sectors: • Nonferrous Metals: Korea would eliminate taris on 86 percent of U.S. nonferrous metals exports immediately upon implemen- tation of the agreement. Taris on 12 percent of U.S. nonfer- rous metals exports would be eliminated over three years, and taris on the remaining 2 percent would be eliminated over ve years. Foreign Competition in the Korean Market • Korea signed a trade agreement with the EU in 2009, which is scheduled 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 negotiat- ing new agreements with Australia, Canada, Colombia, New Zealand, and Turkey; is considering launching FTA negotiations with China; and is exploring re-launching its stalled negotiations with Japan. • EU exporters will immediately enjoy an average tari of 0.3 percent upon entry into force of the EU-Korea FTA, while U.S. exporters will face an average most favored nation (MFN) tari of 3.8 percent until entry into force of 6 the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement. Key States Exporting to Korea • Top U.S. states exporting metals and ores to Korea include: California, New Jersey, Alaska, Texas, Washington, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, and Illinois. Other Key U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement Commitments for the Metals and Ores Sector • 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 standards, 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 gov- ernments of both parties would to the extent possible publish proposed regulations in advance, allow a reasonable opportunity to comment, 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 implementa- tion of the regulation to allow stakeholders to adjust. The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement also includes strong anticorrup- tion provisions obligating the Parties to adopt and maintain anti-bribery measures in international trade and invest- ment. 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. • Customs Procedures: The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement requires transparency through the publication of customs measures to ensure that the U.S. and Korean private sectors have access to customs laws and regulations. To the extent possible, those interested will be given an opportunity to comment on generally applicable customs regulations proposed by the United States or Korea. The trade agreement requires simplied customs procedures for the timely and ecient release of goods in order to facilitate “just-in-time” supply chain logistics systems, as well as procedures intended to reduce delays in cus- toms clearance. • Investment: The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement establishes a stable legal framework for U.S. investors and investments in Korea, backed by a transparent, binding international arbitration mechanism. All forms of investment are protected under the Agreement. With few exceptions, U.S. investors would be treated as well as Korean investors (or investors of any other country) in the establishment, acquisition, and operation of investments in Korea. 6 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