Under the concessions negotiated with Seoul, the U.S. will be allowed to retain a 25% tariff on pickup trucks for an additional 20 years. The truck tariffs had been set to expire in 2021, so the deal significantly expands the protection applied to U.S. trucks. And South Korea would double the import quota for American-made cars meeting U.S. safety rules — but not Korean ones — to an annual 50,000 units per carmaker, up from 25,000 units currently.
But U.S. carmakers don’t export enough to hit the quota of 25,000 that exist now, and the move to maintain truck tariffs could also have limited impact. Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. both have developed pickup trucks — the Mohave and the Santa Cruz — but neither has entered the U.S. market. The Korean carmakers are mostly focused on producing sedans for North America.
“I don’t think the KORUS deal is particularly significant economically,” said Tami Overby, a longtime Washington-based advocate for U.S. businesses with interests in South Korea ….
South Korea also agreed to a limit on the amount of steel it can export each year to the U.S. — 2.68 million tons, or 70% of its annual average for the past three years.