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

Washington DC, July 13, 2017 — The United States is seeking to renegotiate its trade deal with South Korea, Washington said yesterday, in hopes, it said, of removing what Washington says are barriers to trade.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement that he was instructed by President Donald Trump to call a special Joint Committee meeting under the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) greets South Korean President Moon Jae-in prior to delivering a joint statement from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“The USTR acted in accord with the president’s intention of reducing the trade deficit and giving Americans a better chance to succeed in global markets,” the statement read.

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

“President Trump continues to keep his promises to lower our trade deficit and negotiate better trade deals for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” Lighthizer said.

Lighthizer called for the meeting to be held in Washington next month, at a date to be agreed upon later by both sides.

“Since KORUS went into effect, our trade deficit in goods with Korea has doubled from US$13.2 billion to US$27.6 billion, while US goods exports have actually gone down,” he said.

“This is quite different from what the previous administration sold to the American people when it urged approval of this agreement. We can and must do better.”