South Korea will make 'all-out' effort in responding to US tariffs

"We will make clear what our stance is," South Korea's finance minister Kim Dong Yeon told other ministers in a policy meeting in Seoul. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea will "deploy all possible means" to respond to US President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, the country's finance minister said on Monday (March 12).

"We will make clear what our stance is," Kim Dong-yeon said during a policy meeting in Seoul.

"(The government) will deploy all possible means to respond to US steel tariffs measures and make an all-out effort," Kim said, without elaborating.

The United States opened the way for more exemptions from its steel and aluminium tariffs on Friday, after pressure from allies and intense lobbying from lawmakers, further diluting the measures just a day after they were formally announced.

South Korea's government will also decide on whether to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) within the first half of this year, Kim said in the meeting on Monday.

Eleven countries, including Japan and Canada, signed a landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement without the United States on Thursday in what one minister called a powerful signal against protectionism and trade wars.

"The government has been reviewing economic validity of CPTPP, and will draw agreement between the related government agencies about joining it within the first half," Kim said.

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