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MOTIE activates control tower for EU trade issues 2023-02-07

Minister for Trade Dukgeun Ahn presided the EU Trade Issues Task Force (TF) meeting on February 2 at K-SURE in Seoul, which was followed by the first pan-ministerial EU CBAM (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism) Response TF meeting.

The EU Trade Issues TF was launched to serve as a comprehensive control tower assessing and supporting the impact on Korean industries caused by major bills moved forward in the EU, and to share information on their progress with participation of industry-academia experts and relevant ministries.

The Korean government has been working closely the EU on bilateral issues and global challenges on occasions of a number of consultative groups like the Korea-EU FTA Trade Committee, but there has been a growing need for a comprehensive response channel as issues are becoming all the more complex and varied amid the U.S.-China competition and rising protectionism worldwide.

The EU Trade Issues TF will be held once every quarter to discuss pressing issues with the participation of the Government, academia, industries and research institutions. Four sub-TFs will be installed to respond to CBAM, supply chain, sustainability and fair competition.

Trade Minister Ahn remarked that “the TF will take the lead in handling EU trade issues by identifying industries’ risk and opportunity factors to enhance exports vitality and reinforce Korean companies’ response capacity.”

In addition, the pan-ministerial EU CBAM Response TF was launched subsequently in the attendance of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

The above TF was formed with the purpose of being able to assess and coordinate CBAM response measures per ministry, strengthen inter-ministerial cooperation and prevent domestic companies from experiencing setbacks in EU-bound exports.

The trade chief asked for close cooperation among ministries in supporting the technological development of carbon reduction across steel and other relevant sectors, and in establishing a domestic infrastructure for calculation, inspection and reporting process for carbon emissions per product.

TF meetings will be held on a regular basis to review progress updates and ministries' plans for assisting exporting companies.