South Korean President believes Inflation Reduction Act is contradictory

South Korean President, Yoon Suk-yeol, has talked with U.S. President Joe Biden regarding the Inflation Reduction Act and its impact on Korean automakers.

As world leaders converged on London for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, many have taken the opportunity to engage in diplomacy. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is one such leader who relayed a message to U.S. President Joe Biden indicating that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and its domestic assembly requirement for electric vehicle subsidies must be addressed, says Reuters.

The South Korean government has vehemently opposed the IRA since its introduction, as the act stipulates that subsidies directed towards electric vehicles must only apply to vehicles assembled within the US, along with many other requirements. The South Korean parliament has stated that the act may break a free trade agreement between the two countries and that they may file a formal complaint with numerous international governing bodies.

Aside from contending that the IRA damages South Korean business, President Yoon has argued the Act may also be contradictory to U.S. interests. As the U.S. has looked to move away from Chinese production dependence, allies such as South Korea will be crucial in supplying alternatives.

The South Korean government said to Reuters, “Our side clearly conveyed the concern that the (IRA) does not match the U.S. drive for supply chain cooperation and would bring a negative impact on future projects.”

Thus far, no changes have been made to the IRA, nor has an exception been given to South Korean products. However, the South Korean government has put forward several compromises thus far. Most notably, they have asked that the IRA’s initiation be pushed back until Hyundai/Kia can establish their first US production facility in Georgia, a project that would likely take until the end of 2023 at the earliest.

The Biden Administration has not addressed the matter other than by stating that more talks will be necessary to correct the issue. Still, they are running out of time and likely patience from the South Koreans.

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