Countries around the world are seeking to negotiate their own exemptions from Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariff. As Australia has secured a tariff exemption after Canada and Mexico, U.S. trading partners line up for exemptions rather than warning of taking countermeasures. South Korea, one of the United States’ close allies set to be hit with the tariff that will go into effect on Friday, will also try harder to persuade Washington to give Seoul an exemption.
Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Seko Hiroshige and European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Brussels on Saturday (local time) to discuss whether they would be included in the tariffs. Things are not much different yet. “No immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure for exemption, however, discussions will continue next week,” Malmstrom wrote on twitter.
Seoul is making an all-out attempt to win waivers. South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon on Sunday sent a letter to his U.S. counterpart Steven Mnuchin. In the letter he said South Korean companies have made investments and helped create jobs in the United States, asking for an exemption from the tariffs.
South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong has returned home after his trip to Washington to meet with senior U.S. trade officials. National Security Director Chung Eui-yong, the leader of the special delegation who visited to Washington to deliver North Korean leader’s message to Trump, reportedly asked U.S. Defense Minister James Mattis and other government officials for an exemption. “The embassy officials and civilians will work hard until the country is to be excluded from the tariffs,” a trade ministry official said.
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