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S. Korea calls for swift negotiations to revise Trump-era steel tariffs

China iTech Ghana
Saturday, November 20, 2021 | views Last Updated 2021-11-20T19:34:36Z
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South Korea's top trade official called on the United States on Friday to launch negotiations swiftly to revise the Section 232 tariff rules on Seoul's steel exports.


South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo made the request to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai during in a joint committee meeting of the bilateral free trade agreement.


It is the first time in 10 years that a US top trade official has visited South Korea. She arrived in Seoul on Thursday for a four-day visit that includes a meeting with the labor minister.


"We once again delivered our stance and concerns regarding the Section 232 rules, and demanded that the two sides begin negotiations at an early date," Seoul's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a release.


South Korea has been pushing for the revision of the Section 232 tariff rules.


The US decided in October to lift import tariffs of 25 percent on European steel and 10 percent on aluminum imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018. The lifting is set to take effect on Jan. 1.


In 2018, the US waived the tariffs on South Korean products, but it was in return for a yearly import quota of 2.63 million tons of steel, or 70 percent of Seoul's average steel products export volume over the past three years.


During Friday's meeting, Yeo and Tai agreed to strengthen their strategic partnership in various new fields such as supply chains and climate change.


"For the goal, the two sides discussed the establishment of a new channel for in-depth consultations and cooperation," the ministry said.


They also discussed major issues of mutual concern, including digital markets, new technologies in agricultural sectors, a certificate of origin and visa.


Trade volume between the two nations grew around 26 percent to $131.6 billion since March 2002 when the free trade deal took effect. (Yonhap)

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