Trump Wants to Pull Out of South Korean Trade Deal

Lester Mason
September 6, 2017

-South Korea free trade agreement, congressional leaders overseeing trade called on the White House to pursue further discussions instead of pulling out of a pact with an important economic and strategic ally, particularly at a time of heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula.

In a statement, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), ranking member Richard Neal (D-MA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) highlighted the importance of the bilateral deal in the wake of North Korea's latest nuclear test.

"I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States", the American president said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the US Chamber of Commerce has called on its members to lobby the administration to stay in the deal in an "all hands on deck" note this weekend, according to AP.

On Sunday, North Korea launched its sixth and most powerful missile test, with Pyongyang claiming the test involved a powerful hydrogen bomb which can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Withdrawing from the trade deal would back up Trump's promises to crack down on what he considers unfair trade competition from other countries, but his top national security and economic advisers are pushing him to abandon the plan, arguing it would hamper US economic growth and strain ties with an important ally.

An analysis by Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes found that if KORUS is terminated, the United States likely will lose the South Korean pork market to the European Union, Chile and other countries that have preferential trade access to the Asian nation. "To be effective and constructive, however, we must not withdraw from the agreement while we do so".

In the first three years of the agreement, our vehicle exports to South Korea more than doubled as their tariffs on American-made vehicles were cut in half.

Since 2012, the USA "trade deficit in goods with Korea has doubled from $13.2billion to $27.6billion, while United States goods exports have actually gone down".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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