The South Korean government is concerned that the United States may change the target of its protectionist trade policy based on high tariff rates from China to Europe, India or South Korea.
At present, its application of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to automobiles for tariffs of up to 25 percent is up in the air. The United States can put pressure on South Korea by using it as leverage with regard to any trade issue.
“The U.S. government postponed the application of Section 232 in November last year and its official stance has not changed since then,” a South Korean government official said on Jan. 16, adding, “It is true that there are some concerns over the possibility of pressure based on the section.”
It is in this regard that the United States recently mentioned the same act and tariff rate with regard to cars imported from Europe, demanding its cooperation regarding the ongoing Iran issue.