July 21, 1986
We are pleased to announce the successful conclusion of two trade policy actions, initiated by the President last fall, aimed at securing open markets for U.S. firms. Resolution of the two actions admits U.S. firms to the $5 billion Korean insurance market and provides comprehensive protection of foreign patents, copyrights, and trademarks in Korea. The President emphasized in his trade policy action plan in September 1985 that he would move vigorously to improve conditions for U.S. firms in individual foreign markets. Last fall he used his authority under section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act to initiate investigations of access to the Korean insurance market and of intellectual property protection in Korea.
The outcome of the insurance investigation enables U.S. insurance firms to underwrite both life and non-life insurance in Korea. Korean insurance authorities have told us that they will be prepared in the weeks ahead to receive license applications and to provide all necessary information on the technical requirements.
On intellectual property protection, the Korean Government will take a number of steps:
1. It intends to present to the National Assembly comprehensive copyright bills that will include coverage of traditional literary works, sound recordings, and computer software. The Korean Government also intends to take steps to join the Universal Copyright Convention and the Geneva Phonograms Convention next year.
2. The Korean Government intends to present to the legislature a bill to amend the patent law. The bill will provide coverage for chemical and pharmaceutical products and for new uses of these products.
3. On trademarks, the Korean Government has removed requirements for technology inducement as a condition for accepting applications for trademark licenses. The Korean authorities also have repealed export requirements on goods covered by trademark licenses and have lifted restrictions on royalty terms in licenses.
The U.S. and Korean Governments have agreed to establish consultative mechanisms to discuss matters related to both these issues. Opening foreign markets for U.S. firms in the services sector and universal protection of intellectual property rights are major U.S. goals for the forthcoming new round of multilateral trade negotiations. These are also significant objectives of our current consultations with individual countries under our Generalized System of Preferences for developing countries.
Note: Edward P. Djerejian read the statement to reporters at 12:15 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.