A negotiation to exclude South Korea from countries subject to US steel tariffs and the third negotiation to revise the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be conducted at the same time.
The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said on March 14 that the third round of a free trade agreement (FTA) renegotiation will be held in Washington D.C. of the US. on March 15 (local time). The negotiation will be attended by Yoo Myung-hee, assistant minister for trade negotiations of the MOTIE and Michael Beeman, assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan, Korea, and the APEC. This is a follow-up negotiation after the second revision negotiation held in Seoul for two days from January 31.
So far, the two sides have discussed the issues of trade remedies such as safeguards and anti-dumping duties, investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), market access and tariffs in the automotive sector, and the origin of goods such as steel. South Korea is expected to try to put as many safety devices against US trade pressure as possible in the revision negotiation.
Particularly, the third round of the negotiation is drawing attention because it will continue with the negotiation to exempt Korean steel from tariffs of the 232nd clause of the US Trade Expansion Act. Korean trade minister Kim Hyun-jong left for the US on March 13 to negotiate the steel tariffs. As the two negotiations overlap and their windows are the USTR, the two negotiations are likely to affect each other.
As Korea is in a position to persuade the US to exclude Korea from the steel tariffs, Korea is likely to face a request from the US to make concessions in the FTA revision negotiation.