US and South Korean delegates meet next week to hold trade talks

Vastavam web: US and South Korean delegates will meet in Washington on January 5 for talks on possible amendments to their free trade agreement, officials announced today.The Trump administration initiated talks to renegotiate the United States-Korea (KORUS) free trade agreement in July, arguing the 2012 deal was lopsided because American’s bilateral trade deficit had ballooned under it.According to the office of Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the US exported less to South Korea in 2016 ( 42.3 billion) than it did before the agreement was signed in 2011 ( 43.5 billion), a decline of 2.7 percent.

Over the same period, South Korean imports in the United States rose by nearly 20 billion, meaning the US trade deficit in goods rose from 13.2 billion to 27.6 billion.Since assuming office a year ago, US President Donald Trump has railed against free trade deals, describing them as bad for US jobs.One of his first moves was to pull US support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, an American-led initiative with 11 Asia-Pacific countries that deliberately excluded Washington’s big regional rival China.