New U.S.-South Korea Agreement Will Help Protect American Workers and National Security

Ambassador Robert Lighthizer’s trade strategy shows signs of progress

The administration announced on Tuesday a trade agreement that curbs South Korean steel exports to the United States to 70 percent of its most recent three-year average. 

The agreement comes amid a flurry of activity by U.S. allies in response to the president's Section 232 trade action and country exemption process including Canada, which agreed to take new steps to stop the transshipment and diversion of steel and aluminum to the U.S. market, and the European Union, which began efforts to safeguard its domestic steel industry from imports.

Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul:  

“The agreement with South Korea to better level the playing field on steel and autos is an encouraging sign that the administration’s trade strategy is achieving results.

"We believe the deal's steel provision will be as effective as a tariff in achieving the goals of strengthening our domestic industry and ensuring it can supply America’s security needs.

“Our trade partners must acknowledge that country exemptions from steel tariffs are not blank checks. National governments must be active partners in efforts to eliminate overcapacity, prevent circumvention and transshipment, and punish trade cheaters that dump and subsidize.

“We will be watching the administration’s further actions on steel trade closely and we congratulate Ambassador Lighthizer on his success so far. More than 3,500 new jobs in metals production have been announced since this tariff policy was established. 

"We must continue to build on that momentum and maximize pressure on countries such as Russia, China, and Turkey that have long track records of trade cheating.”