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South Korea Will Amend Trade Deal with US

07 October 2017
South Korea Will Amend Trade Deal with US

American president Donald Trump appears to have changed his mind about a trade deal with South Korea.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of South Korea reported today that nation and the United States agreed to start a process of amendments to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) among the parts.

"I now look forward to intensified engagement with Korea in an expeditious manner to resolve outstanding implementation issues as well as to engage soon on amendments that will lead to fair, reciprocal trade", Lighthizer said in a statement.

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Since the trade agreement went into effect in 2012, the USA goods trade deficit with South Korea more than doubled to $27.6 billion past year.

The meeting followed an earlier session on 22 August in Seoul, which came after requests from the USA for "possible amendments and modifications" to KORUS.

The two countries shared an understanding of the need to amend the free trade deal to further strengthen the mutual benefits, the ministry said in a statement.

South Korea treats the first 25,000 USA -made vehicles imported by each manufacturer per year as compliant with local safety and testing regulations, so long as the vehicles meet US standards.

Speaking to reporters in Washington last week, Kim said he would press for a review before discussing amendments to the deal.

Lifting that cap would boost USA -made vehicle imports Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, a Washington lobbyists for General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on trade issues told Bloomberg.

But he also noted the threats of withdrawal were real, not a "bluff".

"We hope to see that agreement between South Korea and United States provides balanced economic benefits to both countries in long term", negotiations are scheduled to be made next month, agreement said. Since the agreement took effect, South Korean investment in the U.S. has increased from $2.2 billion to $5.8 billion and created 45,000 jobs.