Elizabeth Williamson reports that negotiators are "are down to one main sticking point," the time frame over which the 2.5% U.S. tariff on autos will be phased out. In the original agreement, the tariff on cars with small gas engines would be eliminated immediately, and the tariff on cars with larger gas engines and diesel engines would be eliminated over three years.
People involved in the talks were optimistic about the chances for a deal, calling the narrow focus on the tariffs issue a sign of progress.
While agreeing to a pact that would phase the tariff out over a half decade or so would be seen as a victory for the U.S. side, its economic benefit could be dwarfed by normal currency fluctuations. In November alone, the dollar rose 0.4% against the South Korean won, virtually equivalent to the level a one-year tariff reduction would provide.
Here: U.S.-Korea Pact Hinges on Auto (Wall Street Journal).
Doug Palmer, the Reuters trade reporter, tweets that talks may go to a fourth day.
Palmer's story here: the negotiations continued into Thursday night.
Ju-min Park also reports for Reuters: U.S., Korea make headway on trade talks: report. This report was filed at the close of the third day's meeting, which went late into the evening. The focus is on comments by the Korean trade minister: he sees progress, there will be a fourth day, there is the prospect of a further extension (a fifth day? or a further meeting? not clear), and the meeting appears to be focused on cars:
"Beef was not discussed," the Yonhap quoted Kim as saying.
Palmer quoted Kim going into the afternoon session saying the two sides were "far away" from an agreement. In Park's late night story Kim is more upbeat.