Industry by the Numbers
The Financial Services Chapter of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) is a groundbreaking achievement, providing more extensive provisions related to financial services than have ever been included in a free trade agreement before. Often cited as a model for future trade agreements, the KORUS FTA opens Korea’s market to U.S. financial services companies – including banking, insurance, and brokerage services – and provides a gateway for access to the growing Asian market.
United States Trade Representative
“The FTA would increase access to the Korean Market and ensure greater transparency and fair treatment for U.S. suppliers of Financial services. The FTA would address Nontariff barriers in a wide range of Sectors and includes strong provisions on Competition policy, labor and environment, and transparency and regulatory due process.”
The KORUS FTA:
- Guarantees the right to full American ownership of a financial institution in Korea, including the establishment of branch banks, insurance companies, and asset managers.
- Allows U.S. companies to supply financial services on a cross-border basis, including portfolio management services for investment funds and international transit insurance.
- Allows U.S. companies to engage in new financial services unless those services are specifically prohibited by Korean law.
- Increases transparency by requiring advance notice of proposed regulations and adequate opportunities for companies to comment, and requires all administrative guidance to be in writing and made public.
The KORUS FTA will increase opportunity for U.S. insurance, financial and law firms to grow their presence in Korea and support high paying jobs in America. Korea is the world’s eighth largest insurance market, with a total premium value of more than $65 billion.
Financial services are the third largest sector of the U.S. economy, and Korea is already a significant market for U.S. financial services companies.