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S. Korean trade minister to visit US for talks on global supply chains

South Korea's Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)
South Korea's Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)
South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo will visit the United States from this week to discuss bilateral cooperation on global supply chains and other trade issues, the ministry said Tuesday.

During his weeklong visit from Tuesday (US time), Yeo will meet his US counterpart Katherine Tai, lawmakers and governors to bolster economic ties between the countries.

Yeo is scheduled to hold talks with Tai on Thursday to exchange views on the 10-year-old bilateral free trade agreement, the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and cooperation on global supply chains.

The Joe Biden administration has been pushing for the framework in a move to better engage with Asia on trade amid an intensifying Sino-US rivalry.

The upcoming face-to-face talks come after Yeo spoke with Tai a week ago through a virtual meeting.

Yeo is also expected to touch on US steel tariffs, which have been a source of concern among relevant businesses following a trade deal in late October between the US and the European Union. The agreement calls for ending a 25 percent tariff by the US on steel imports from the EU and 10 percent on aluminum.

The deal is feared to have adverse impacts on South Korea's exports of steel and aluminum products, as it is likely to boost the volume of EU's steel imports to the US

Under a 2018 deal between Seoul and Washington, the US waives a 25 percent tariff on South Korean steel imports in return for a yearly import quota of 2.63 million tons for Korean steel products, or 70 percent of Seoul's average export volume over the past three years.

Meanwhile, Yeo is slated to attend a meeting of the National Governors Association to be held from Friday to Sunday, the ministry said. (Yonhap)

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