On Wednesday, the White House announced that the administration had reached a deal to exempt South Korea from U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. South Korea will reduce its U.S. steel exports by a third to avoid paying the tariffs. They also agreed to import 50,000 American-made cars with lower safety standards than the South normally allows.
But yesterday, President Trump suggested he would delay or cancel the deal depending on how nuclear talks go with North Korea. A senior administration official told Bloomberg that the trade talks were really minor, but would add up to a whole. President Trump’s trade strategy has generally been to rip up major multilateral agreements that take years to negotiate and re-negotiate industry-specific deals with specific countries. Argentina, Brazil, and the EU are still negotiating the steel and aluminum tariffs with the administration ahead of a May 1 deadline.
To discuss, we’re joined by Phil Levy, a senior fellow on the global economy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.