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South Korea Seeks Responses to Mexico’s Steel Tariff Hike

South Korea is seeking ways to minimize potential damage to its domestic steel industry from Mexico’s recent hike in steel import tariffs despite expectations of a limited impact, the industry ministry said Tuesday.

Last week, Mexico increased tariffs on imports of steel products from around 10 percent to up to 25 percent, citing the need to prop up its industry and market. The move will remain effective until July 2025.

The South Korean industry ministry met with officials from major steelmakers, including POSCO Holdings Inc. and Hyundai Steel Co., in Seoul on Tuesday to share their assessment of the decision and discussed responses.

The companies said the latest increase is expected to have a limited impact, as some 85 percent of steel products shipped to Mexico are exempted from tariffs under Mexico’s industry promotion policy measures.

But they are expected to be affected to some extent, and preparations for longer-term impacts are needed given uncertainties regarding the current tariff exemption, the ministry said.

Of South Korea’s total steel exports, some 7.8 percent are shipped to Mexico in terms of volume, or 8.3 percent in value, according to data from the Korean Iron and Steel Association.

“Global circumstances in the steel industry and the overall trade have been changing fast. We will boost government-to-government consultations with Mexico to minimize the impact on our firms,” a ministry official said.

Source: Yonhap News