Seoul: The Trade Ministry in Seoul said on Friday that South Korea's top trade official urged the United States to quickly begin discussions to amend the Section 232 tariff restrictions on Seoul's steel exports.
The US eliminated tariffs on South Korean steel exports in 2018, but only in exchange for a yearly import quota of 2.63 million tonnes of steel, or 70 percent of Seoul's average steel product export volume over the previous three years. During a bilateral meeting in Washington on Thursday, South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo made the proposal to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
South Korean steelmakers had also met with members of the US Congress, economic groups, and think tanks to lobby for the revision, "considering the gravity of the current situation," according to the statement.
The initiative comes after President Donald Trump said in October 2021 that he would reduce import tariffs on European steel and aluminum imposed by him in 2018. The increase went into effect on January 1st.
The agreement is expected to have a negative impact on South Korea's steel and aluminum exports, as it is expected to increase the volume of steel imports from the EU to the US.