US not seeking to renegotiate Trump-era steel quotas with South Korea, says Raimondo

Band Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters)The United States has no intention of renegotiating a quota deal forged by South Korea and the former Trump administration, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday, a day after agreeing to cut quotas. tariffs on British steel and aluminium.

“They sort of made their own deal under the last administration, with a quota deal, so renegotiating that is not a priority for us now,” Raimondo told Reuters in an interview.

South Korean officials pushed for consultations with Washington after the United States struck deals with the European Union and Japan to roll back steel and aluminum tariffs. On Wednesday, he struck a similar deal with Britain.

But in 2018, shortly after former President Donald Trump imposed the 25% “Section 232” tariff on imported steel, his administration agreed to give Seoul an annual quota of duty-free steel of up to 2.68 million metric tons under deal. revise the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).

The South Korean quota was based on 70% of South Korea’s average steel exports to the United States over the period 2015-2017.

Raimondo said the United States has a strong relationship with South Korea and praised its participation in Russia’s concerted export controls following its invasion of Ukraine.

“They’ve been great partners in working with us to refuse Russian semiconductors,” she said. “Our relationship with Korea is very strong, and we really want to continue to build on that.”

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Additional reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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