US, South Korea exchange ‘candid views’ on vehicle credits and network fees

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(Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday its commerce secretary and South Korea’s commerce minister had exchanged “candid views” on Seoul’s pending legislation on network usage fees on foreign content providers and Washington’s electric vehicle credits in a meeting.

The Cut Inflation Act, signed by President Joe Biden last month, eliminates federal tax credits for electric vehicles made outside of North America, meaning companies such as Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia Corp will no longer be eligible for such grants.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol arrived this week for his first official trip to the United States, but tensions threatened to disrupt a recent show of alliance strength with Washington.

In South Korea, there is legislative pressure to force companies like Netflix and Alphabet’s Google to pay local network fees.

While the US Commerce Department’s reading said Secretary Gina Raimondo and South Korea’s Lee Chang-yang reaffirmed the importance of bilateral economic ties, it also hinted at tensions.

The pair “exchanged candid views on U.S. concerns about South Korea’s pending legislation to impose network usage fees on foreign content providers and Korea’s concerns of the South regarding tax credits for electric vehicles,” he said.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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