South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong said on March 25 that South Korea and the United States reached in principle an agreement on KORUS FTA revision and steel tariffs and some remaining technical issues will be resolved in the near future.
According to him, the two countries’ negotiations resulted in exemption of tariffs on South Korean steel, no concession regarding the South Korean agricultural market, non-acceptance regarding a mandatory use of U.S. auto parts and strengthened rules of origin, and compliance with the existing concession.
It is said that the South Korean government made a concession in the automobile market in return for the tariff exemption in the steel industry. It is also said that the South Korean government made some concession in the pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. appears content with the result. On March 23, U.S. President Donald Trump said that the negotiations with South Korea were about to reach a conclusion in a satisfactory way.
The trade minister is scheduled to report the result of the negotiations to the State Council of South Korea on March 26. Then, the South Korean government will make an announcement on the result within this week.