South Korea Urges Trump to Drop Threatened Car Tariffs

South Korea is making a last-ditch attempt to win an exemption from US tariffs on cars and auto parts, as the country struggles to shield its export-driven economy from rising US protectionism and the fallout from Donald Trump’s trade war with China, the Financial Times reported. Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s trade minister, will visit Washington this week to press Seoul’s case with White House officials, members of Congress and US trade representatives, before the US president pushes through a new tariff against one of its key allies in Asia. Mr Trump is expected to make a decision by Saturday on whether to slap duties of up to 25 per cent on car imports and components under the so-called “Section 232” tariffs, used to protect the US from strategic threats from its trading partners. The US is South Korea’s second-largest trading partner after China and vehicles are South Korea’s top export item to the US, worth $13.6bn last year. The Section 232 plan has raised fears in Seoul of big job losses, with carmakers expected to respond by shifting some production offshore. Read more