Korean auto official urges change of new Brazil tax hike.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
SEOUL – Brazil’s recent 30 percent tax hike on cars with imported content is facing harsh criticism from a leading Korean auto industry official.
“That was a setback and I believe it goes against the provisions of the WTO [World Trade Organization],” Huh Wan, executive managing director of the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, told the Korea-LAC Business Forum here today. “I hope the Brazilian government will reconsider. Many people are paying attention to this.”
In March, Korean auto giant Hyundai had announced plans to build a $600 million plant in Brazil to produce 150,000 cars yearly starting next year.
The comments came as Brazil’s Supreme Court suspended until mid-December the tax, which was announced last month, Bloomberg reports. The court ruled that the tax increase was illegal because the government failed to give 90 days notice as required by law,
Brazil is Korea’s top trade partner in Latin America. Last year two-way trade grew 37.7 percent to $12.5 billion, according to to the Korea International Trade Association.
Korean trade with all of Latin America grew 29 percent last year to $43.9 billion.
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