Menu Content

Economy

Trade Minister Makes Final Pitch for US Auto Tariff Exemption

Write: 2019-05-17 15:07:53Update: 2019-05-17 15:49:11

Trade Minister Makes Final Pitch for US Auto Tariff Exemption

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Trade officials and representatives of the local auto industry, who have actively made their case to exempt South Korea from the U.S.' new auto tariffs, now await Washington's decision which is due on Saturday. A U.S. media outlet reported on Wednesday that South Korea will be exempt from the tariffs. 
Choi You Sun reports.

Report: South Korea's Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee met with U.S. trade officials and lawmakers this week to make Seoul's final pitch for an exemption from potential U.S. auto tariffs. 

Yoo told reporters at Dulles International Airport on Thursday before returning to Seoul that the only thing left now is to wait for Washington's announcement.

[Sound bite: S. Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee (Korean)]
"I want to say that we did our best until the very end to ensure the Section 232 measures (of the Trade Expansion Act) aren't imposed on South Korean cars."

After the U.S. Commerce Department's conclusion in February that auto imports threaten national security, U.S. President Donald Trump has until Saturday to decide whether to push ahead with slapping a tariff as high as 25 percent on imported cars and parts.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Trump will delay a decision on new auto tariffs by six months, while negotiating a new trade deal with the European Union and Japan.

Based on a draft executive order Trump is expected to sign this week, Bloomberg added that the proclamation will exempt South Korea from any future tariffs since it renegotiated the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement last year.

Yoo was cautious to comment on the reported exemption. She talked about Seoul making the case that it already made concessions regarding automobiles in the revised trade agreement which went into effect in January. 

[Sound bite: S. Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee (Korean)]
"I could sense that the U.S. trade officials and members of Congress I met this time positively assessed the South Korean government's efforts toward the revised Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement."

Amid speculation that Washington may be threatening the tariffs as leverage in its trade talks with the EU and Japan, it is reported that Trump is expected to put off tariff hikes to focus on ongoing negotiations with China.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

Editor's Pick