Robert J. Samuelson: Give South Korea a break

Robert J. Samuelson: Give South Korea a break

Robert J. Samuelson: Give South Korea a break

The U.S. -Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), hammered out by Trump's Democratic predecessor President Barack Obama, has been a frequent target for Trump, who in earlier interviews with Reuters threatened to withdraw from what he called an unequal deal in which Washington runs a goods trade deficit of nearly $28 billion with Seoul.

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

When the United States and South Korea reached an agreement on preferential trade terms back in 2007, neither country knew that the global economy was about to look very different from the previous few years.

Today, the United States has a 27 percent share of the South Korean import market, compared to just 11 percent for the No. 2 supplier, China. -South Korea relations amid tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

Other administration officials, including US Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer and the president's economic adviser Peter Navarro, have complained that many South Korean industries, especially the automotive sector, enjoy government protections that make it harder for American companies to compete.

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

If KORUS does get dealt this blow, the apparel and textile industry would be facing duty increases on US imports from and exports to South Korea. Others are saying Trump may have been using the clever ploy of raising the specter of a withdrawal to gauge the South's reaction.

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According to press reports, President Trump has expressed frustration at his inability to keep campaign promises to end trade deals he argues have disadvantaged US workers. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue made the announcement in a statement in Washington DC on ehe day while he was responding to reports that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing from the U.S.

Cutting off access to Korean buyers would lower the demand for beef and zap profits across the industry, said Kent Bacus, director of worldwide trade and market access at NCBA.

"With respect to South Korea, we supply almost half of the 1.3 million tons of soybeans that country imports, with no tariffs as a result of the KORUS agreement". The United States runs a trade deficit with South Korea.

“The last five years, we have been reaping the benefits, ” Bacus said.

"We understand through multiple sources that. a notice of intent to withdraw. has been drafted", the email said, according to the Journal. Likewise, the USA gained a net profit of US$14.1 billion in 2015 in its trade with the service sector of South Korea.

When the KORUS FTA took effect six years ago, the auto exports from the U.S.to South Korea totaled only US$381 million.

The best that could happen now is that the Trump administration would admit as much. Under Trump's orders, signatories of the North American Free Trade Agreement have conducted two rounds of renegotiations. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce overseas. The administration has been in talks to make adjustments to the trade agreement with South Korea.

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