S. Korean auto workers blast revised trade deal with US


Associated Press

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

Unions at South Korea’s two-largest automakers, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., have blasted plans to revise a free trade deal with the United States, saying the amended deal will prevent local automakers from entering the fast-growing U.S. pick-up truck market.

“It is a humiliating deal that accepts Trump’s strategy to preemptively block South Korean pick-up trucks,” Hyundai Motor’s labor union said.

As part of talks on revamping a free trade deal that took effect in 2012, South Korea and the U.S. agreed to push back the earlier agreed-to elimination of import tariffs on pickup trucks by 20 years to 2041. South Korea’s top negotiator said Monday that the move will have little impact on the local automakers because there are no domestically produced pickup trucks exported to the U.S.

However, Hyundai’s labor union complained that the government gave in to U.S. President Donald Trump at a time when the American market represents big opportunities.

Big U.S. automakers are trying to “kill the South Korean auto industry,” it said.

Kia’s labor union said it shares that view.

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