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U.S., South Korea come to agreement on trade deal

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The United States and South Korea have come to an agreement on revisions to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, known as KORUS, senior administration officials confirmed on Tuesday. 

South Korea's trade ministry announced changes to the trade pact on Monday during a briefing in Seoul, calling the discussions "heated" but ultimately successful in eliminating "two uncertainties." 

On a conference call with reporters, administration officials said that the countries resolved KORUS changes and agreed to a steel quota for the Koreans, granting them an exemption from the 25 percent tariff imposed by President Donald Trump last week. 

"Subject to steel, Korea will be subject to hard quote – a hard annual quote," an official said. "It will be a product specific quota equivalent to 70 percent of average annual export volume for these steel products, based on a three year average from 2015 – 2017."  

South Korea will not receive an exemption on their aluminum exports, the official added, which will be subject to a 10 percent tariff.  

The changes to KORUS, which officials billed as "a huge win for the American worker," include an extension of a 25 percent tariff on American pick up trucks for another 30 years, a doubling of the cap on U.S. vehicle exports built to U.S. safety standards that can enter Korea from 25,000 to 50,000 vehicles per manufacturer, and the elimination of "burdensome regulations" such as additional environmental testing. 

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