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S. Korea, U.S. agree to launch high-level talks on U.S. Inflation Reduction Act

All News 03:08 September 08, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States have agreed to quickly launch ministerial level talks on ways to minimize damage from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on South Korean carmakers, South Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun said Wednesday.

Ahn made the remarks after meeting with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai.

"We will discuss specific dates and other details (of the launch) as quickly as possible, but I plan to meet USTR Tai every week, including next week and week after that," the South Korean official told reporters.

South Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun speaks to reporters after meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Washington on Sept. 7, 2022. (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap)

South Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun speaks to reporters after meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Washington on Sept. 7, 2022. (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap)

Ahn arrived here Monday for talks on the new U.S. law that provides a government tax credit of up to US$7,500 to each American buyer of electric vehicles assembled in North America, which excludes all South Korean-made electric cars from the benefit.

Seoul believes the IRA violates the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, which requires the countries to treat products from each other the same as their domestic goods or those from countries with most-favored nation status.

"The U.S. government too fully understands the seriousness of this issue, and so we plan to continue our consultations on how it can actually be resolved with practical measures," said Ahn.

The South Korean official said he and his U.S. counterpart, Tai, will hold in-person meetings for two consecutive weeks at least, when asked.

Ahn earlier said Seoul will demand a revision of the new U.S. law, if necessary.

He said alternative solutions may still be possible.

"Since we have formed a consultation channel with the USTR as I had hoped and agreed to start detailed discussions on this issue, we will continue our discussions as many alternatives as possible," he told reporters.

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bdk@yna.co.kr
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