S.Korean trade official to discuss supply chain, steel tariffs in US

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South Korean Deputy Trade Minister Jeong Dae-jin will visit the US this week for talks on supply chains of key materials and steel tariff issues, the Trade Ministry said on Sunday.

During the three-day visit starting on Monday, Jeong will have a series of meetings with officials of the White House, the Commerce Department, the US Trade Representative office, Congress and major think tanks to boost cooperation on a range of bilateral trade and industry issues, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The meetings will be focused on follow-up measures on the establishment of a new dialogue channels, as the two sides agreed last month to create a channel to jointly address supply chain challenges and issues of new technologies, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Also on the table will be tariffs on South Korea’s steel and aluminium exports.

The Seoul government has also sought negotiations with the US to revise the Section 232 tariff rules, after Washington decided in October to lift tariffs on European steel and aluminium imports imposed by former President Donald Trump.

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 tonnes of steel, or 70 per cent of Seoul’s average steel products export volume over the past three years.

Jeong will also have discussions on the US’ plan to launch a new economic framework in the Indo-Pacific region and steel tariffs, according to the Ministry.

Washington has said that it is looking to form a fresh economic framework in the region, rather than joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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