South Korea and Canada have agreed to jointly deal with the United States' move to levy tariffs on foreign autos and put on a united front against the rising protectionism in global trade, Seoul's trade ministry said Thursday.
South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong met with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Ottawa to discuss the latest trade issues and explore ways to expand bilateral economic cooperation.
The two nations have mulled ways to defend their auto industries as the Donald Trump administration is set to roll out new tariffs of 25 percent on foreign vehicles on national security grounds.
South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong (right) shakes hands with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland during their meeting in Ottawa, Canada, on July 19, 2018, in this photo provided by the Korean ministry. (Yonhap)
Seoul has claimed that Korean autos should be exempt from the US tariffs as it has reached an agreement on revising a bilateral trade deal, which accepted Washington's demands on the auto sector, and since it doesn't pose a threat to US security.
Canada and Mexico, the top two auto exporters to the US, have been stuck in a drawn-out negotiation for the North American Free Trade Agreement over thorny issues in the auto sector. During the meeting, Freeland said the trilateral trade talk will resume soon but remained unclear about the prospects.
The two officials said that countries that have trade pacts with Washington should be exempted from its fresh tariffs and agreed to put on a united front against the protectionism.
After the meeting, Kim flew to Washington, D.C. for a series of meetings with US government officials, lawmakers and industry officials to make arguments against the tariffs, the ministry said. (Yonhap)