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Japan steel industry head worried U.S. using new tariffs in wider trade talks

TOKYO, March 26 (Reuters) - Japan’s steel industry is worried that the United States is using new import tariffs on steel and aluminium as a card for wider trade negotiations, the head of the industry’s group said on Monday.

The United States on Monday agreed to exempt South Korea from steel tariffs, instead imposing a quota on steel imports as the two countries agreed in principle to revise a trade pact sharply criticised by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“We are concerned that the new tariffs are being used by the U.S. as a card for wider trade negotiation deals,” Japan Iron and Steel Federation Chairman Kosei Shindo told a news conference.

Last week, Trump temporarily excluded six countries, including Canada and Mexico, and European Union states from higher U.S. import duties on steel and aluminum which took effect on Friday. The exclusion included most U.S. allies, but not Japan.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by Richard Pullin