South Korea last week requested the Trump administration to postpone any review of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement until a new trade minister is appointed in South Korea.
The request comes after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer requested a review of the agreement on July 12th in a letter to Korea’s former minister of trade. South Korea suggested that both sides “objectively examine, analyze and assess the effects” of KORUS before the meeting takes place. President Trump earlier this year had threatened to terminate the trade agreement, calling the agreement a “horrible deal that’s left America destroyed,” back in May. South Korea is the sixth-largest trading partner with the U.S.
However, the USTR office says America’s trade deficit with Korea was $27.7 billion last year. Korea is currently the fifth largest U.S. agricultural export market, with beef leading the way. Based on the trade agreement, the two countries must meet within 30 days of the initial request, or by August 11th.