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Hyundai Motor may make pickup trucks to take advantage of U.S. free trade deal

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Hyundai Motor Co. said Wednesday it may begin manufacturing pickup trucks if a free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States that would scrap U.S. tariffs on the vehicles takes effect.

``We will conduct a feasibility study on the pickup truck model as a long-term project,'' Hyundai spokesman Jake Jang said.

Hyundai Motor is the world's sixth-largest automaker but currently does not make pickups.

South Korea and the U.S. agreed Monday to eliminate or lower tariffs and other barriers to trade in a landmark deal that requires legislative approval in both countries.

In autos, besides mutually agreeing to eventually eliminate tariffs on cars, the U.S. said it would eliminate duties on pickup trucks in 10 years. The U.S. currently imposes a 25 per cent tariff on pickup truck imports.

Auto trade was one of the biggest hurdles that had to be overcome before the two countries could seal the agreement, the biggest for Washington since the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into force in 1994.

The deal is the largest ever for South Korea, the world's 10th-largest economy.

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Hyundai Motor may make pickup trucks to take advantage of U.S. free trade deal
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