Trump Will Discuss South Korea Trade Deal With Senior Advisers

Randolph Lopez
September 4, 2017

Since his inauguration, President Trump has been expressing discontent over the five-year-old FTA, calling it a "horrible" deal that has resulted in a large trade deficit for America.

BEIJING — China says President Donald Trump's threat to cut off trade with countries that deal with North Korea is unacceptable and unfair.

The U.S. -Korea Free Trade Agreement was hammered out by Democrat Barack Obama and has been a frequent target for Trump, who calls it an unequal deal that gives South Korea a almost $28-billion dollar trade surplus.

It remains to be seen if North Korea's latest nuclear test yesterday would change the President's calculus, given the importance of Seoul as Washington's partner in dealing with Pyongyang. "It's very much on my mind", he replied. The Washington Post reported earlier that any withdrawal was opposed by his national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

As Trump considers giving notice to South Korea of US withdrawal from the pact, he faces a potential divide among his advisers. North Korea sharply raised regional tension this week with the launch of its Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific.

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Trump's administration had begun talks with South Korea to revise a trade deal signed in 2012 by the Obama administration, but they failed to agree on a way forward after joint meetings in August.

The two sides held a one-day videoconference two weeks ago about possible revisions to the agreement but ended without a decision on the next steps for possible revisions.

Alabama exports millions of dollars in goods to, and imports millions worth of good from, South Korea...primarily because the only Hyundai plant in the U.S.is in Montgomery.

Pulling out of the South Korean free trade deal would mark the latest step taken by Trump to abandon the type of worldwide trade agreement that had exemplified world economics for decades.

He pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement during his first week in office and his administration is now in talks to rewrite the 23-year-old North American FTA.

South Korea is the US' sixth-largest trading partner, while the US is South Korea's second-largest trading partner after China.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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