(ATTN: ADDS industry chief's meeting with U.S. lawmakers in last 4 paras)
SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun will depart for the United States on Monday for talks on the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that excludes electric vehicles assembled outside North America from tax incentives.
The IRA, signed by U.S. President Joe Biden in August, gives tax credits to buyers of EVs assembled only in North America, sparking concerns that carmakers here will lose ground in the U.S. market as they make EVs at domestic plants for export.
During the three-day stay through Wednesday, Ahn plans to hold meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and other government and Congress officials to seek resolutions, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Ahn's planned visit came after a government delegation's trip to Washington last week to discuss the issue with the U.S. side. Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang also plans to visit the U.S. this month, according to his office.
Last week, the National Assembly also passed a resolution expressing concerns over the discriminatory nature of the law.
The U.S. has vowed to have discussions with South Korea over the issue, and Seoul has proposed forming a formal consultation channel, according to government officials.
Following the visit to Washington, Ahn will fly to Los Angeles to attend the two-day ministerial meeting on the Indo-Pacific Economic Partnership set to begin Thursday, the ministry said.
Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang met with a group of U.S. lawmakers in Seoul earlier in the day and urged the U.S. Congress' support to swiftly come up with solutions, his office said.
"The related clauses discriminate against imported vehicles, which would violate international trade norms, including those under the World Trade Organization and the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," Lee said.
"For in-depth discussions, the two nations need to set up a new consultation channel. The U.S. Congress' active efforts and interest are needed," he added.
The delegation involves nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives, many of whom are affiliated with its foreign affairs and armed services committees.
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