Main opposition leader sends letter to Biden, key figures over IRA
SEOUL, Oct. 15 (Yonhap) -- The leader of South Korea's main opposition party has sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden calling for a quick revision of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) expected to hurt South Korean automakers' foothold in the world's most important market, party officials said Saturday.
Democratic Party (DP) leader Lee Jae-myung also sent letters to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other U.S. officials on Oct. 1, according to the officials.
In the letter, Lee delivered concerns over the IRA and called for measures to resolve the issue, including a revision of discriminatory clauses and suspending the implementation of the law.
The IRA, signed by Biden in August, calls for giving subsidies to those who buy electric vehicles only if the cars were assembled in North America.
The law will also require EVs to be equipped with batteries made with a certain portion of minerals mined or processed in the U.S., or countries or regions that have free trade agreements with Washington.
South Korea has been making all-out efforts, both on the government and business fronts, to get exceptions for Korean-made EVs, saying the clauses will discriminate against Korean companies, including top automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp., along with the battery manufacturers.
Lee said the IRA will deal a blow to Korean automakers as its vehicles will lose competitiveness in the U.S. market, and in the end, reduce the benefits for American customers.
"South Korea is an essential partner for the U.S. in fostering future technology industries and job creation ... and the two countries have an alliance, a friendship and a reciprocal relationship that has continued for 70 years," Lee said.
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