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U.S. reaffirms commitment to dialogue with S. Korea over U.S. inflation reduction law

All News 09:17 September 21, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) -- A senior U.S. diplomat on Tuesday reaffirmed the U.S.' commitment to engaging with South Korea over the newly enacted U.S. law on inflation reduction that offers benefits to only electric vehicles built in the U.S.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Jose Fernandez also highlighted the importance of economic cooperation with South Korea while meeting with South Korea's Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon, according to the state department.

"The Under Secretary reiterated the United States' commitment to maintaining open channels of engagement with the ROK on the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, as the United States works to implement the landmark legislation," the department said in a press release, referring to South Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea.

The bilateral meeting was held on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

"They also discussed ways to work together to address other key challenges, including joint efforts on climate change, and opportunities to deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific," the department added.

The Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law in August, offering a government tax credit of up to US$7,500 to each buyer of new electric vehicles (EVs) assembled in North America, excluding South Korean-made EVs from the benefit.

Seoul has pointed out that the new law may violate the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, which guarantees equal treatment of products from each other as domestic goods.

The U.S. agreed to launch a formal channel of communication with South Korea to specifically discuss issues related to the new U.S. law, shortly after a visit here by South Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun earlier this month.

South Korean Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang arrived in Washington earlier in the day, becoming the latest and highest South Korean official to visit the U.S. to discuss the new U.S. law.

Under Secretary Fernandez stressed the importance of U.S.-South Korea cooperation, according to the state department.

"Under Secretary Fernandez highlighted the ROK's significant and growing investments in the United States, including in clean energy technologies, which support our shared economic prosperity, clean energy, and supply chain resiliency goals," it said.

"These investments help strengthen our economic partnership and improve our ability to confront shared challenges."


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