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S. Korea urges US to begin talks on revision of Trump-era steel tariffs

South Korea's Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook (R) and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo pose for a photo ahead of their meeting in Washington on Nov. 9, 2021, in this photo provided by Moon's office. (Moon's office)
South Korea's Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook (R) and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo pose for a photo ahead of their meeting in Washington on Nov. 9, 2021, in this photo provided by Moon's office. (Moon's office)
South Korea called on the United States Wednesday to quickly start talks to revise the Section 232 tariff rules on Seoul's steel exports.South Korean Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook made the request to his US counterpart, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in phone talks, the ministry said.

"Moon told Raimondo that Washington should launch negotiations on the issue as soon as possible as it is related to a recovery in the global supply chain," the ministry said.

South Korea has been pushing for the revision of America's Section 232 tariff rules.About a month earlier, South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo made the request to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai during in a joint committee meeting of a bilateral free trade agreement.

In October, the US decided to lift import tariffs of 25 percent on European steel and 10 percent on aluminum imposed by President Donald Trump in 2018. The lifting is set to take effect on Jan. 1.In 2018, the US waived the tariffs on South Korean products, but it was in return for a yearly import quota of 2.63 million tons of steel, or 70 percent of Seoul's average steel products export volume over the past three years.

The ministry also said Moon and Raimondo exchanged views on the results of recent industrial cooperation between the two countries.

On Dec. 9, South Korea and the United States launched a new bilateral dialogue platform to discuss ways to boost cooperation on the semiconductor sector.

Last month, Moon visited Washington to talk with Raimondo and US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on issues ranging from supply chain resiliency to setting global standards for key industrial sectors.

In the phone talks, Moon and Raimondo exchanged views on the "Indo-Pacific economic framework," which the US has been exploring with its trade partners to define "shared objectives around trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply chain resiliency and decarbonization and clean energy" and other areas of shared interest, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)

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