KANTOR: OPTIONS OPEN IN US-S. KOREA CAR TALKS

KANTOR: OPTIONS OPEN IN US-S. KOREA CAR TALKS

The United States will not necessarily seek "quantitative" targets to measure improvement in trade with South Korea as it did with Japan, U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said Monday.

Mr. Kantor spoke on the cable network CNBC, the day before South Korean officials are due to visit Washington to work out a deal on opening up auto trade between the two nations. The United States says South Korea has unfair trade barriers against U.S. goods, particularly autos."The quantitative indicators came in our framework agreement with Japan. That wouldn't necessarily apply to Korea," Mr. Kantor said.

He added, "With the Koreans, we have a number of options. That is only one of them and of course I am not going to negotiate in public" ahead of today's negotiations.

Mr. Kantor said specific barriers that South Korea has established against U.S. goods include high import taxes on such items as autos, an anti- import bias in general and lack of financing for foreign-bought autos.

''We want an effective agreement" to break down these barriers, Mr. Kantor said, adding, "one that could be enforced, one that can be monitored."

In 1994, the United States had a $1.6 billion trade deficit with South Korea, up $718 million from the previous year.

U.S. automakers claim South Korea has higher auto trade barriers than Japan. Last year, only about 4,000 of the 1.5 million vehicles sold in that country were foreign, officials at the American Automobile Manufacturers Association said.