South Korea requests steel tariff negotiations with US

South Korean trade minister Yeo Han-koo called for trade negotiations with the US on steel tariffs at a press conference on Monday.

This comes after the US and EU reached a new tariff agreement on steel exports last month, and the US agreed to renegotiate steel tariffs with Japan last week, Kallanish notes. ”Because South Korea is a rival of the EU and Japan in the US, I’ve strongly raised the necessity of negotiations with the US on the matter,” Yeo Han-koo said.

South Korea’s exclusion from these negotiations was because of Seoul’s earlier agreement with the Trump administration on a limit on exports to the US of 70% of the average volume between 2015 and 2017. Such a ceiling allowed Korea-manufactured steel exports to avoid the 25% tariff imposed under Section 232 rules on other suppliers.

Regarding the timing for negotiations, Yeo said: “For the time being, it’s too early to judge; however, because the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and US Department of Commerce are involved in the matter simultaneously, we will try our best for an early start by maintaining minister-level communications.”

By Kallanish Team