Find a list of your saved stories here

Trump seeks talks to overhaul South Korean trade deal

Save Story

Save stories to read later

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is seeking talks that could lead to the renegotiation of a free-trade agreement with South Korea.

U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer said in a letter Wednesday to South Korean Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan that the United States wants to meet to discuss "possible amendments and modifications" to the pact that that went into effect five years ago under President Barack Obama. The terms of the trade deal call for the talks to begin within 30 days.

Obama had predicted that the pact would increase U.S. exports to South Korea, the world's 11th-biggest economy. Instead, U.S. exports of goods to South Korea fell from 2011 to last year, and the U.S. trade deficit in goods with South Korea widened from $13.2 billion to $27.6 billion over the same period.

The Trump administration blames the rising trade gap on continuing South Korean barriers to U.S. exports, especially in the auto market. But other analysts cite South Korea's sluggish economy and note that other countries have seen their exports to South Korea fall even more.

Jeffrey Schott, senior fellow in trade policy at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, says it would make sense to update the U.S.-South Korea trade deal to cover emerging businesses such as e-commerce.

The administration focuses on trade in goods, like airplanes and washing machines. But Schott points out that the U.S. runs a trade surplus with South Korea in services, such as banking and tourism. Including services, the overall trade deficit last year was $17.6 billion, a fraction of the deficits of $309.3 billion with China, $63.1 billion with Mexico and $57.1 billion with Japan.

President Donald Trump has criticized past trade deals and has already begun an effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent Business stories

Related topics



    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast