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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy -> 
US exempts South Korea from steel tariffs
    2018-03-27  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE United States yesterday agreed to exempt South Korea from steel tariffs, instead imposing a quota on steel imports as the two countries agreed in principle to revise a trade pact sharply criticized by U.S. President Donald Trump.

In return, South Korea said it would improve access for U.S. automakers under the bilateral free trade deal known as KORUS, the country’s trade ministry said.

In April, Trump said that he would either renegotiate or terminate what he called a “horrible” trade deal that has doubled the U.S. goods trade deficit with South Korea since 2012.

The agreement means South Korea becomes the first U.S. ally to receive an indefinite exemption, albeit with a quota, on steel tariffs imposed by Trump.

Trump’s action on steel and aluminum, along with plans to slap tariffs on up to US$60 billion in Chinese goods, had fuelled concerns of a damaging global trade war.

“We had heated discussions,” South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong said at a media briefing in Seoul. “The latest agreement removed two uncertainties,” he said, referring to steel tariff exemptions and KORUS renegotiation.

Last week, Trump temporarily excluded six trade partners, including Canada and Mexico, Australia and the European Union, from higher U.S. import duties on steel and aluminum which came into effect Friday.

The import duties, of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, were mainly aimed at curbing imports from China.

South Korea has received a quota of about 2.68 million tons of steel exports, or 70 percent of the annual average South Korean steel exports to the United States between 2015-2017, which will be exempt from the new tariffs, the ministry said in a statement.

South Korea is not allowed to export steel products exceeding that quota to the U.S. market, a ministry official said, saying the United States is “restricting import volume.”

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.

Trump was elected in 2016 after promising to punish what he saw as “unfair trade practices” by other countries.

Alarm over a possible trade war between the world’s two largest economies has chilled financial markets as investors foresee dire consequences should trade barriers go up.

South Korea’s steel association said it was a “relief” that South Korea has been excluded from U.S. steel tariffs, but it was regrettable it was unable to secure higher quotas for steel exports.

South Korea’s steel industry will “try to pave the way to ease U.S. restrictions on steel exports,” the association said.

South Korea and the United States also agreed that U.S. tariffs on South Korean pickup trucks will remain in place until 2041, extended by 20 years from the previous phase-out schedule of 2021.

Under KORUS revisions, U.S. carmakers will bring into South Korea 50,000 vehicles per carmaker per year that meet U.S. safety standards, not necessarily South Korean standards, up from 25,000 previously. (SD-Agencies)

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