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28 March 2018, 01:07 | Floyd Cook
MORE NEWSTop Chinese offical warns against'trade war
SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea has agreed to further open its auto market to the United States as the two countries prepare to amend their six-year-old trade agreement following complaints by President Donald Trump.
The two countries reached an agreement "in principle" on the trade deal, the South Korean trade ministry said in a statement yesterday.
Kim said South Korea also won an exemption from increased import tariffs on steel products. "So we announced the tariff".
South Korea is the third-largest steel exporter to the United States and the world's top importer of Chinese steel, leading to concerns it was a conduit for China's excess capacity.
The news agency said the agreement means South Korea will be forced to cut its steel exports to the USA by 30% of the past three years' average, in exchange for becoming the first United States ally to receive an indefinite exemption on steel tariffs imposed by Trump. The South Korean economy relies heavily on exports and benefitted from $119.3bn of bilateral trade with the USA past year.
Mnuchin said the USA would deal with China in the same way it has handled South Korea when it comes to tariffs on Chinese imports worth $60 billion, which Washington says it is imposing to counter violations of US intellectual property rights. "I think South Korea fared well despite the USA offensive".
To avoid the steel tariff, South Korea would limit U.S. shipments of the metal to about 2.7 million tonnes a year, the ministry said.
Trump announced a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports earlier this month, declaring shortly thereafter that countries could apply for an exemption.
American Metal Market's pricing assessment for USA import high-collapse seamless P110 casing stands at $1,275-1,300 per ton.
South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong speaks to the media during a briefing at Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, March 26, 2018.
Yoon noted that South Korea was the first of 12 nations to receive an exemption from a 25 percent tariff on steel products.
South Korean automakers should make investments and hire new workers in the United States to build pick-up trucks to avoid the 25 per cent tariff, he added. The current ceiling is 25,000 cars, but there's no U.S. company that sells more than 10,000 cars a year, Kim said. At present, vehicles manufactured in the United States and exported to South Korea include Mercedes-Benz GLE, GLE Coupe and GLS and Toyota Sienna.
South Korea also said it will "take into account U.S. standards and global trends" when Seoul decides its fuel economy and emissions rules from 2021 to 2015. "That is free and fair trade".
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