March 2, 2018 / 2:07 AM / 4 months ago

South Korea says talking to U.S. about steel tariffs plan

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s trade ministry said on Friday it is talking to the United States about its steel exports and will keep up its outreach until U.S. President Donald Trump formally announces proposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products.

FILE PHOTO: Steel pipes for sale are displayed at a shop in the Mullae-dong steel product district in Seoul July 13, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak/File Photo

Trump on Thursday announced his administration would impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent on imported aluminum to protect U.S. producers.

South Korea is the third-largest steel exporter to the United States after Canada and Brazil.

“Until the U.S. government makes a final decision, we will actively seek outreach activities toward the United States,” South Korea’s trade ministry said in a statement.

South Korean trade minister Kim Hyun-chong has been in the United States since Feb. 25, the ministry said. Kim has met U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other officials to raise concerns over the so-called Section 232 probe and consider a plan that would minimize the damage to South Koran companies.

Shares of South Korean steelmaker Posco fell more than 3 percent on Friday to a four-week low.

Trump is expected to formally announce the tariffs measure next week.

(This version of the story has been refiled to fix typo in pargraph three)

Reporting By Jane Chung; Additional reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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