(Adds U.S. official saying work is underway to address Korean
TOKYO/SEOUL, Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President
Kamala Harris told South Korea's prime minister on Tuesday that
Washington will work to address Seoul's concerns over recently
enacted electric vehicle (EV) subsidies that could disadvantage
The $430 billion "Inflation Reduction Act" bill enacted in
August includes a host of U.S. President Joe Biden's priorities,
including investments to roll back climate change and make
Washington a world leader in the EV market.
Among the law's provisions are requirements that EVs be
assembled in North America to qualify for tax credits. The law
also ends subsidies for other EV models and requires that a
percentage of critical minerals used in those cars' batteries
come from the United States or an American free-trade partner.
Harris, visiting Japan, met with South Korea's Han Duck-soo
and "underscored that she understood (Korean) concerns regarding
the Act's tax incentives for electric vehicles, and they pledged
to continue to consult as the law is implemented," the White
A senior Biden administration official said extensive
conversations have already taken place within the U.S.
government over how to address South Korea's concerns.
"She listened very carefully and made clear our
commitment to work within the U.S. government - the U.S. Trade
Representative, the Treasury Department - as we look ... to help
address that issue," the official said.
Biden has sought to deepen business with South Korea as part
of a bid to increase U.S. manufacturing jobs and build a united
front against China, who he views as the country's key
ideological and economic competitor.
Korean officials see the new requirements as a betrayal
after South Korean companies agreed to make major investments
and build factories in the United States.
Heavily industrialised South Korea worries the new subsidies
will set back Hyundai Motor Co and its affiliate Kia
Corp in the world's largest consumer market. Cars
are South Korea's third-largest export.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Tokyo, and Soo-hyang Choi and
Joyce Lee in Seoul; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Kim