U.S. announces plan to renegotiate trade deal with South Korea

U.S. announces plan to renegotiate trade deal with South Korea

U.S. announces plan to renegotiate trade deal with South Korea

He proposed that the meeting take place in Washington next month.

The goal of negotiating the accord, Mr Lighthizer said, is to reduce America's trade deficit and improved its competitiveness in global markets.

"We can and must do better", US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

It is the latest protectionist trade move by US President Donald Trump.

He also said that the United States has had a persistent goods deficit with Korea for almost two decades.

Lighthizer argued that the U.S trade deficit has doubled since the agreement began and that signifies an unbalanced trade relationship and unlevel playing field.

South Korea is a major United States trade partner, with the U.S. exchanging about $144.6bn (£112m) in goods and services with the country previous year. That year, the US trade deficit with South Korea was $7.7 billion.

"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.

But the ministry clarified a task force team for altering the free trade pact requires Seoul's consent since the USA is calling for "amendments and modifications", not "renegotiations".

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However, the ministry stressed that a joint committee does mean bilateral renegotiations have started, as creating a task force to alter the FTA requires Seoul's consent.

South Korea is considering the request for a special session of a joint FTA committee, Cho said. The 30-day period is not mandatory, he added. The official stated that the Moon Jae-in administration was looking to hold off all trade negotiations until after the country's new trade minister has been appointed. But the bill on the government reorganization has been unattended at the National Assembly due to a prolonged political standoff. The official also indicated the possibility of the special meeting being postponed.

"The pact has an article about the repeal of the agreement".

The US Chamber of Commerce also released a press statement Thursday in defense of the KORUS FTA, saying the agreement has "supported American exports such as agricultural products, manufactured goods and services".

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

Ever since Trump made public his intention to alter the terms of the FTA a year ago, referring to it as a "horrible deal", there has been widespread disparities among experts from both sides.

South Korean officials say the deal has been mutually beneficial.

Over the longer term, Seoul expects imports of shale gas to narrow South Korea's trade surplus with the U.S. Moon seeks to steer South Korea away from nuclear power and toward renewable energy and plants fueled by liquefied natural gas.

This approach is of a piece with the Trump administration's strategy of tackling t rade deficits by reworking trade deals it considers problematic.

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