Imports surge behind reconsideration of South Korea trade deal

Imports surge behind reconsideration of South Korea trade deal

The talks will be held within the next 30 days, as called for under the terms of the agreement. While Lighthizer's letter was sent to Seoul's current minister of trade, industry and energy, the current administration is trying to establish a new trade negotiations office, headed by a new trade minister via a government reorganization. The official also indicated the possibility of the special meeting being postponed. The issue topped the agenda at a meeting between involving cabinet members from the two countries, including Lighthizer, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Moon went on to say that the administration should thoroughly review the intention behind Washington's demand for revision and stand up for Seoul's position.

"Since the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) went into effect, the US's deficit in trade with Korea has doubled from US$ 13.2 billion to US$ 27.6 billion, and US commodity exports actually shrank", said Robert E. Lighthizer., the head of United States Trade Representative (USTR). "Our stance is that we have not agreed on renegotiation of the deal", Yeo Han-koo of South Korea's trade ministry said over the phone.

In his statement on Korus, Lighthizer said: "President Trump continues to keep his promises to lower our trade deficit and negotiate better trade deals for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses". In particular, "The special joint committee can consider an amendment to the KORUS FTA or revise the agreement and interpret provisions", the USTR added.

The official added that Korea first needs to designate its trade minister, which may take time.

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"We will dispatch senior officials to the United States and will discuss with our USA counterparts the details on and agenda and time frame".

Trump has described Korus as a "horrible" deal for the U.S., and in a letter to South Korea's trade minister, Lighthizer said there were "problems regarding market access in Korea for United States exports" and Washington wanted to see a "more balanced trade relationship". The statement also claimed the results of the FTA were different from what the Obama administration "sold" to the American people as he urged its approval.

During last year's campaign, Trump blamed free trade deals for being a key cause of job losses and other American economic problems in an attempt to woo voters struggling with economic difficulties.

Bank of Korea says South Korea's economy is likely to expand 2.8 percent this year thanks to strong exports.

The data also showed that exports of American vehicles to Korea increased 20 times faster than U.S. automobile exports to the world over the same period, meaning Korea now stands as the United States' eighth-largest export market by value, up from the 17th-largest market in 2011.

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