198th Ministerial Meeting on International Economic Affairs
Government Committed to Properly Address Trade Issues
Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong Yeon presided over the 198th Ministerial Meeting on International Economic Affairs, held on March 12, and discussed ways to properly address current trade issues.
As the meeting was held after the decision was made to hold summit talks between South and North Korea in April, and between US and North Korea in May, DPM Kim touched on the issue of North’s denuclearization and prosperity in the Korean peninsula at the beginning of the meeting.
The following is a summary of Deputy Prime Minister’s keynote speech.
Strengthen risk management
The US has recently announced its new steel tariffs, which have added uncertainties to the Korean economy: Fed’s interest rate hikes and major economies’ monetary policy normalization have been major external concerns for the economy. The government will closely watch developments in the global economy and work to get through these hard times.
With regard to the new steel tariffs, we will do our utmost to most properly respond to them: We wrote a letter to US Department of the Treasury to explain why Korea’s steel products should remain tariff-free, and will have Korea-US bilateral talks at the G20 Finance Ministers’ Meeting, scheduled to be held in Argentina on March 19-20. We will also use WTO’s Ministerial Conference held between March 19 and 20, as well as other international opportunities concerning diplomatic, security and trade relations to make us understood.
Meanwhile, we will work ceaselessly to expand our markets across the globe, from the Middle East to Central and South America, to Northeast and South Asia.
Prepare for Korea-US FTA revision negotiations
March 15th of this year is the 6th anniversary of the Korea-US FTA, whose positive effects on both economies have grown larger and larger ever since. Korea and the US will have their 3rd round of amendment negotiations of the trade pact, and the Korean government will prepare for the negotiations, putting its first consideration on the benefits of the whole economy from a large picture view.
Work to join CPTPP
The government has long been considering Korea’s joining of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Eleven countries signed the CPTPP on March 8 this year, and the multilateral trade pact would take effect when it is approved in six out of the 11 countries. We will reach agreements on the joining in the first half, and then will take steps necessary according to the Trade Treaty Conclusion Procedure Act.
Please refer to the attached pdf