New US deal with South Korea: What you need to know

Investors wait for the start of the afternoon trading at a brokerage in Beijing China Wednesday

The United States will be able to double its vehicle exports to South Korea as part of a new trade agreement reached between the two countries, a senior Trump administration official said during a phone conference call.

In exchange, South Korea will be exempted from the 25 per cent tariff on its steel exports to the US.

They also up the number of US cars allowed in without meeting South Korea's different safety standards from 25,000 to 50,000.

The U.S. Department of Treasury has been conducting negotiations with Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance on "robust provisions that will: 1 - prevent competitive devaluation of currency, and 2 - ensure that there are commitments on transparency and accountability to make sure that countries know what others are doing with respect to monetary policy".

The revised KORUS will be the first USA trade deal with a currency side deal.

The agreement also put restrictions on current manipulation by South Korea, the first time such measures were included in a trade deal.

WASHINGTON-The Trump administration said March 27 it has widened US access to South Korea's auto market while providing American manufacturers protection from South Korean imports.

South Korea will still be subject to the 10% tariff on aluminum that was imposed on most nations.

"He was able to make it a better deal and win concessions that should have been won before and to take advantage of ... to create and take advantage of leverage in this situation in a way that helps USA workers and businesses".

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The deal also maintains a 25 percent tariff on pickup trucks slated to expire by 2021, which would have meant the United States losing pickup truck production to other countries, the official said.

USA exports to Korea of agricultural goods have fallen 5.4 percent in the first five years of the Korea FTA, despite nearly two-thirds of US agricultural exports by value obtaining immediate duty-free entry to Korea under the pact.

Other countries also must agree to similar quotas to escape tariffs, but the size of the limits would vary.

South Korean steel companies said had wanted a larger quota of tariff-free exports to the United States.

The US this month commenced levying the steel tariffs vociferating that US imports endangered USA national security. He has granted temporary exemptions to several other U.S. allies, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

South Korea also agreed to amend a government health program that pays premium prices to domestic drug companies in order to ensure a level playing field for US pharmaceuticals producers, the USA officials said.

In addition to the increased access for American vehicles that meet United States but not necessarily South Korean safety standards, the USA officials also said they won reductions in non-tariff barriers to U.S. vehicle sales, including elimination of duplicate environmental testing requirements and recognition of U.S. replacement parts standards.

Kim made a surprise visit to China this week and met with President Xi Jinping.

For U.S. automakers, South Korea agreed not to reimposing a tariff on cars that Seoul has previously lifted.

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