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Seoul calls for exemption from US auto duties in Washington

South Korea's finance minister called on the United States to exempt it from new import duties on imported vehicles at meetings of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors held in Washington last week, the ministry said Sunday.

Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance, made the request to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the sidelines of the annual international conferences on the global economy and other issues.

Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance (Yonhap)
Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance (Yonhap)

Mnuchin said he fully understands what the Korean minister requested from the US in terms of auto import tariffs and expressed hope that the issue will be resolved without difficulty, though no decision on the issue has yet been made, the finance ministry said. 

The US Commerce Department submitted a report on the impact on the car imports to President Donald Trump in February. The report was on whether or not to impose new duties on imported vehicles under a national security rationale.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to impose tariffs on imported vehicles and has 90 days to review the Commerce Department report. (Yonhap)