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Korea, US reach agreement on trade deal and steel tariff exemption 2018-03-26

  • Korea, US reach agreement on trade deal and steel tariff exemption Image 0

    Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong announced on March 26 that Korea and the U.S. reached an agreement on amending their six-year old free trade agreement (Korea-U.S. FTA) and on exempting Korea from U.S. steel tariffs. He made the comment during a press briefing held at the government complex in Seoul.

    Trade Minister Kim said both sides reached an agreement in principle on FTA amendments. He stressed to the press that there will be no further opening of agricultural markets and no changes to the tariffs that had already been lifted.

    Under the updated agreement, Korea will allow the U.S. to extend its 25 percent tariff on imports of Korean pickup trucks by additional 20 years to 2041. The tariff was originally scheduled to expire in 2021. Korea will also allow U.S. automakers selling fewer than 50,000 units per year in Korea to be exempt from Korean safety standards as long as they meet U.S. safety standards, up from 25,000 vehicles previously.

    Regarding the steel tariff issue, Trade Minister Kim said that the U.S. agreed to exempt Korea from steel tariffs imposed under Section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act and that Korea agreed to receive a quota of about 2.68 million tons of steel exports annually. This is equivalent to about 70 percent of the annual average Korean steel exports to the U.S. between 2015 and 2017.