Negotiators from the U.S. and South Korea will meet this week in Seoul, a session that is to discuss potentially amending the five-year-old U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).
President Donald Trump has said he would either renegotiate or terminate the deal, which he said has led to American job losses. South Korea’s trade ministry confirmed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s announcement that both sides will engage in talks starting on August 22. Lighthizer and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong will open the talks via video conference, to be followed by senior-level talks between U.S. and Korean officials in Seoul
South Korea’s trade ministry said it would maintain its stance the deal has been “mutually beneficial” and both sides should first “objectively examine, analyze and assess” the pact before attempting to make changes or amendments.
Lighthizer has said the overall deficit the U.S. has with South Korea has increased since the agreement took effect.
South Korea has maintains the two sides must first determine whether the trade deficit the U.S. holds with South Korea was caused by KORUS or other fundamental economic issues.