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U.S. promises to look into Inflation Reduction Act impact on Korean carmakers: Seoul official

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Korean National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport before taking off to Hawaii on Aug. 31. [YONHAP]
Korean National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport before taking off to Hawaii on Aug. 31. [YONHAP]

The United States pledged Wednesday to look into the potential impact of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on Korean carmakers, Seoul’s top security official said, amid concerns that the act would pose a trade barrier for Korean-made vehicles.
 
National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han made the remarks after separate talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Jake Sullivan and Takeo Akiba, in Honolulu on the margins of their trilateral meeting.
 
The gatherings came amid growing concerns in Korea as the IRA excludes electric vehicles (EVs) assembled outside North America from tax incentives.

“[Sullivan] said [the U.S.] will take a detailed look at how the EV subsidy issue will pan out going forward, and what impact it will have,” Kim told reporters.

The IRA calls for the expansion of tax subsidies for purchases of EVs assembled only in North America, spawning concern it will hurt Korean carmakers, such as Hyundai Motor and Kia that make their flagship models at domestic plants and ship them overseas.

During the talks with Akiba, Kim discussed cooperation in dealing with North Korean issues and improving bilateral relations long strained over wartime history. He described the talks as “very productive.”

Kim also had consultations with both Sullivan and Akiba over cooperation in making Pyongyang accede to Seoul’s “audacious plan” designed to help North Korean improve its economy should it take steps towards denuclearization.

Yonhap