Economy

Trump hails revised Korea trade deal

Trump hails revised Korea trade deal

The officials told reporters that the deal includes provisions outlined by South Korean officials on Monday, including a 20-year extension of the 25 percent USA tariff on pickup trucks and a doubling of the Korean import cap on autos that meet US specifications to 50,000 per manufacturer per year. On Monday, Seoul declared a revamped trade agreement had been reached.

In a background briefing with reporters, senior administration officials said the agreement in principle to the Korea-United States (KORUS) trade agreement will reduce South Korean regulatory and policy barriers that limited U.S auto sales.

The agreement represents the first renegotiation of an existing trade deal in the Trump administration, part of a central campaign promise Trump made as a candidate.

The US Department of the Treasury is also in talks on a deal to prevent Seoul from deliberately pushing its currency lower to give South Korean exporters a competitive advantage.

The auto sector is among the most contentious issues in South Korea's trade dealings with the U.S. The Korean Automobile Manufacturers Association praised the government's efforts to protect South Korean automakers and avoid major changes on sensitive issues such as adjusting tariffs.

The United States this month began imposing the steel tariffs, saying imports jeopardized US national security. So we announced the tariff. US red meat exports to Korea set a record last year of $1.7 billion, up 19% year-over-year and up 69% from 2012.

"Clearly, the president was correct to undertake this renegotiation", a senior administration official said yesterday on condition of anonymity.

The Trump administration said on Tuesday that the United States and South Korea had agreed to revise their six-year-old trade pact.

In fact, according to Rasmus, the revisions to KORUS leave most of the free-trade agreement intact.

The revised deal also postpones the phasing out of a United States tariff of 25% on pickup trucks from South Korea.

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Seoul also agreed to recognize USA standard for auto parts and reduce some labelling requirements that burdened US manufacturers. These premium payments have previously only been available to the South Korean companies. Members of the European Union have criticized the hard-line approach from the US, but Trump has not signaled any intention to back down. Including it in the text of the deal would have required a lengthy legislative approval process, a path that administration officials indicated they did not want to go down.

During the meeting, Kim committed to denuclearisation in Korea if the United States and the South showed "goodwill", it was reported, with China agreeing to support its neighbor if nuclear tensions could be eased.

Experts point out that the negotiations lasted only a few months, far shorter than trade talks typically take.

Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., told Lighthizer she and other members of Congress anxious that changes to KORUS could have financial repercussions in their districts.

So what does South Korea get from the deal?

"There are lots of members of Congress who will be directly impacted by any changes in that agreement, like my district", Sewell said, alluding to the Hyundai auto plant.

"I have absolutely no indication that the U.S. is walking away from the WTO", Mr Azevedo said.

The Asian country is still subject to the 10-percent tariff on its aluminum exports to the United States, said the officials.

Trump bolstered his threat to upend trade deals early on by withdrawing the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Obama negotiated with 11 Asian and Latin American nations.

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