It's South Korea's turn to face Trump's wrath on 'horrible' trade

It's South Korea's turn to face Trump's wrath on 'horrible' trade

It's South Korea's turn to face Trump's wrath on 'horrible' trade

In a formal letter addressed to Joo Hyung-hwan, the minister of trade, industry and energy, Lighthizer called for the special Joint Committee Meeting to take place in Washington, adding that that United States has been suffering from a persistent deficit in goods trade with Korea.

The move reflects US President Donald Trump's protectionist criticism of past trade deals and his vow to put "America First".

"Since KORUS went into effect, our trade deficit in goods with Korea has doubled from $13.2 billion to $27.6 billion, while US goods exports have actually gone down", he said.

A South Korean trade official told Reuters on Thursday that it will hold the proposed joint committee either in Seoul or Washington, but this does not necessarily mean that South Korea will renegotiate the deal.

The move to revamp the 5-year-old deal doubles down on Trump's promise to get tough on trade and lower the US trade deficit.

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

Terms of the trade deal call for the talks to begin within 30 days.

But some analysts believe the two countries won't make wholesale changes to the agreement.

He said South Korea will discuss ways to reduce the US trade deficit and improve fairness of the KORUS FTA.

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The new Moon Jae-in administration is seeking to create a new trade negotiations office to be headed by a trade minister.

Trump has sought to shake up USA trade agreements, with the NY real estate mogul regularly touting his ability to negotiate "deals".

The Obama administration had said the 2012 free trade agreement - described at the time as the most significant in 16 years - would boost United States businesses.

"This is quite different from what the previous administration sold to the American people when it urged approval of this agreement", he said.

In an interview earlier this year, Trump called the deal "horrible" and a "one-way street".

"A key focus of the Trump Administration is on reducing our trade deficits with trading partners around the world, and we have real concerns about our significant trade imbalance with Korea", he added.

At the time the FTA was set, President Barack Obama predicted it would increase US exports to South Korea, the world's 11th-biggest economy.

South Korea will also propose a joint survey to assess the impact of the deal, hoping to confirm its benefits and give the US less reason to seek wholesale changes.

Trump railed against trade agreements on the campaign trail, blaming them for the loss of American jobs as he courted support from working class voters, while supporters say that removing barriers to business increases prosperity overall.

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