President Donald Trump has his first trade deal.
South Korea agreed to reduce its steel exports to the U.S.by roughly 30 percent and double the number of cars each US auto manufacturer can sell there without meeting South Korean safety and environmental standards, despite American vehicle sales being far below the current limit.
On March 8, vowing to protect the USA steel and aluminium industry in the name of national security, Trump signed proclamations to impose a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium.
Many U.S. lawmakers, particularly Democrats, had opposed the 2015 Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal because it had a similar currency manipulation side agreement that could not be enforced.
This is the first time for Washington to include such a currency deal in a trade agreement.
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South Korea will also open up the opportunity for the country's pharmaceutical reimbursements for innovative drugs to US companies under the new agreement.
The US Treasury Department is also in a process of talks in an allocation to intercept Seoul from purposely plummeting its currency to offer South Korean exporters a combative edge. Counting services only, however, the U.S. had a US$12.3 billion surplus. The Treasury's October report urged Korea to "to enhance the transparency of its exchange rate intervention".
The officials confirmed that South Korea agreed to cut its steel exports to the United States by about 30 percent in exchange for the rest being excluded from steel tariffs.
As part of those negotiations, he has used the steel and aluminium tariffs, which he announced with considerable fanfare in early March, as bargaining chips. Inspections at the South Korean border have sometimes been "burdensome" and "arbitrary" for the country of origin, according to one official who said this has applied to not only automobiles, but also to agricultural and other products. However, it has been debarring the duties on confederates like the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
One official said it was "not a one-size fits all kind of thing" and added that the South Korean quota was agreed due to its "unique" position in steel exports.
In response to new USA tariffs on aluminum and steel, the two countries negotiated a compromise on steel tariffs.
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"What will be the same for any country that is out from under the 232 tariff, like with Korea, there will be a hard quota", the official added.
South Korea also agreed to amend a government health program that pays premium prices to domestic drug companies in order to ensure a level playing field for U.S. pharmaceuticals producers, the USA officials said. "This is for vehicles that meet U.S. safety standards and allowed to enter the Korean market on that basis".
The deal also maintains a 25 percent tariff on pickup trucks slated to expire by 2021, which would have meant the United States losing pickup truck production to other countries, the official said.
Kim made a surprise visit to China this week and met with President Xi Jinping.
In 2017, the United States ran a US$10.3 billion (RM40 billion) trade deficit in goods and services with South Korea.
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However, this does not include "unauthorised" settlement outposts retroactively "legalised" by the Israeli government. Construction of a permanent embassy could take several years and the search for its site has already started.