According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea,
A South Korean delegation of business leaders will visit the United States to discuss with their American counterparts the impact of the revised bilateral trade pact that widened market access for American automakers while providing Korean steelmakers relief from U.S. tariffs in exchange for quotas.
Korea International Trade Association (KITA) said on Tuesday its chairman would join a delegation of leaders from 17 companies on a four-day trip to Washington D.C. from April 15.
The list includes blue-chip companies such as Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. that invest heavily in the U.S. Also on the roster are steelmakers like Posco, Posco Daewoo Corp. and Seah Steel Corp. and the Korea Iron & Steel Association. Hanwha Q Cells Corp., whose solar cells and modules were hit with U.S. safeguard measures, and Hyosung, whose power transformers were subject to huge tariffs, will join the delegation for the first time.
Other members include auto part makers Iljin Global and Mando Corp. and energy companies SK Gas Ltd. and SK E&S Co. Korea Semiconductor Industry Association also plans to make the trip to address fears over China’s offer to buy more of U.S. chips by diverting purchases from Korea and Taiwan to help reduce China’s trade surplus with the U.S.
In March, Korea and the U.S. agreed to revise their six-year-old trade pact, further opening Korea’s market to American cars in exchange for Seoul’s permanent exemption from U.S. steel tariffs.
Under the revised deal, Korea would double the number of cars each U.S. automaker can sell in the country without meeting local safety standards and extend the tariffs on Korean truck exports to the U.S. until 2041, which were set to expire in 2021. Seoul also agreed to limit its steel exports to the U.S. by 30 percent of the past three years’ average in return for relief from the 25 percent tariff on steel and aluminum imports.
“The delegation was formed of representatives in the auto, steel and solar sectors where U.S. trade barriers have been most concentrated as well as in IT and energy sectors that hold potential for greater partnership,” said KITA. “We plan to express our worries over the increased trade protectionism in the U.S. and stress the importance of economic cooperation going forward.”
The delegation plans to hold a forum with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to share the mutual benefits of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement and successful cases of their economic collaboration. The forum would also be an opportunity to explain to American buyers of Korean steel their win-win relationship, KITA said.
By Hwang Soon-min and Kim Hyo-jin
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Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (Apr. 03, 2018)