South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong says he has sensed some positive signals that Washington may exempt Seoul from potential tariffs on auto imports.
Kim made the remark during a press conference at the government complex in Sejong City on Wednesday where he shared the outcomes of his recent visit to Washington prompted by U.S. moves to enforce auto tariffs based on Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.
He said that during his meetings with government officials, including White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, they highly assessed South Korea’s efforts for the development of trade relations between the two countries.
The minister said they were also cautious as the final decision is up to U.S. President Donald Trump. Kim added he will remain alert and do his best to secure a waiver for South Korean automakers.
The U.S. Commerce Department is reviewing imposing tariffs on auto imports on national security grounds and needs to submit a final proposal to the White House by Sunday.