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Here we go again: Trump threatens to withdraw from KORUS

11 September, 2017, 00:18 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • South Korean President Moon Jae In speaks during a press conference marking his first 100 days in office at the presidential house in Seoul

Senior U.S. Republicans and Democrats on congressional committees overseeing trade policy on Tuesday said that while improvements were needed in South Korea's compliance with a U.S.

Fischer wrote: "During this challenging time, we must demonstrate solidarity with our allies as they face significant threats".

Donohue said the trade deal has boosted USA exports in a number of areas, including aerospace, service and agriculture, warning US exports would be at risk if South Korea restored tariffs against USA products. "We welcome bilateral discussions to strengthen the economic ties between South Korea and the United States, and we reiterate the importance of transparency and close consultation by the administration with Congress and American businesses and workers".

Fischer, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also noted that North Korea's "belligerent behavior" has given rise to increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

He says if the US were to leave that agreement it would do a great deal of economic harm to America's pork producers.

Fischer concluded: "We are witnessing one of the toughest farm economies since the 1980s".

The past five years have seen steady growth in the US, and Americans have been buying a lot of cars and electronics, the very products that South Korean companies make a lot of.

A report from the Washington Post stated, "the internal preparations for terminating the deal are far along and the formal withdrawal process could begin as soon as this coming week".

South Korea is a valuable trade partner for USA pork, making it the number five export market.

Nearly half of the soybeans consumed in South Korea are now grown by American farmers, Moore noted. According to the US Trade Representative office, US-South Korean aggregate trade volume reached $145 billion in 2016, of which US had a trade deficit of $27.7 billion. Under Trump's orders, signatories of the North American Free Trade Agreement have conducted two rounds of renegotiations.

US companies long complained that the trade was one-sided, and it was hard to sell in South Korea.

“The last five years, we have been reaping the benefits, ” Bacus said. Mr. Lighthizer made the comments to reporters after concluding two days of meetings in Mexico City with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts over renegotiating a separate commercial bloc that Mr. Trump has threatened to end, the North American Free Trade Agreement. American farmers would also take a direct hit if China retaliated, since China is the No. 1 market for US farm goods. Moreover, it's highly likely that China and others would challenge an adverse ruling imposing tariffs on solar imports at the WTO and potentially retaliate against US products. But the threat to the agreement from inside the USA, where many have cited trade deficit figures, has not been neutralized.

The best that could happen now is that the Trump administration would admit as much.

Pulling out of KORUS would mark the latest step taken by Trump to abandon the type of global trade agreement that had exemplified world economics for decades.


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