Korea International Trade Association Chairman Kim Young-ju met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington, D.C. on May 14 (local time) and asked him to exclude South Korea from imposition of tariffs on cars. U.S. President Donald Trump makes a decision on the issue on May 18.
“When it comes to automobiles, the opinions of the United States have already been reflected to the maximum extent possible during the previous negotiations for revising the KORUS FTA,” the chairman explained, adding, “In addition, a large number of Americans are currently working for South Korean automakers in the United States.”
“The KORUS FTA, which became effective in 2012, has boosted the bilateral trade and investment of the United States and South Korea and contributed significantly to their industrial competitiveness and consumers’ rights to choose,” the chairman went on to say, continuing, “Last year, the United States posted US$5.3 billion in goods and services account deficit vis-à-vis South Korea, the lowest since the implementation of the FTA, and this proves that the KORUS FTA is a well-balanced and mutually beneficial agreement.”
“The application of Adverse Facts Available and Particular Market Situations is adding to uncertainties related to bilateral economic relations of the two countries,” he said regarding the United States’ steel quota, adding, “The quota needs to be applied with flexibility and the AFA and PMS rules need to be predictable and reasonable.”
The U.S. commerce secretary said in response that he is well aware of the importance of the two countries’ partnership and the United States will make even more efforts to keep enhancing it. He also said that he is well aware of and acknowledges major South Korean corporations’ investment in the United States.