South Korea is expected to see its exports to the United States decrease this year due to protectionist measures by the world's largest economy, the country's central bank chief said Friday.
"U.S. trade protectionist measures will drag down South Korea's overall exports by 0.3 percent," Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said in a statement ahead of a parliamentary hearing.
"But the impact may be greater if Washington confirms its plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and intensifies trade pressure on South Korea," he said.
Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump signed off on an executive order to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports, excluding those from Canada and Mexico. The move will go into effect next Friday.
Seoul has called on the Trump administration to exempt it from the steep tariffs, citing close economic and security ties, but it was not included in the initial list of exemptions.
South Korea-U.S. bilateral trade reached US$119.3 billion last year, according to government data.
Lee is set to appear before lawmakers for a confirmation hearing on March 21 as he was reappointed by President Moon to head the BOK for another four years. His second term will start in April. (Yonhap)