S.Korea, US begin talks over reviewing trade deal

US and South Korea Trade Negotiators Meet In Seoul Next Week

The trade minister said the US side had not brought up the possibility of terminating the trade pact during the talks, adding that South Korea would wait for the USA review of Tuesday's discussions and its proposals.

Kim said that his side has proposed for a joint study with Washington to evaluate the impact that the 5 year old bilateral trade agreement has caused on U.S. trade deficit.

Ahn Dukgeun, a professor at Seoul National University's Graduate School of International Studies, said South Korea can take cues from the Nafta talks, though he said Mr. Trump's threat to pull out of Korus FTA might not work. "Plainly, the time has come for a major review of how we approach trade agreements".

"I think it's better that we maintain the agreement because it's a win-win", said Kim during his meeting with the Ministry of SMEs.

"For many, many years, the United States has suffered through massive trade deficits. we'll be changing that", Trump said during a June 30 summit with new South Korean President Moon Jae-In. South Korean auto exports to the US last year, however, were 10 times higher at $16 billion.

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South Korea and the US ended their trade talks without an agreement Tuesday, as they failed to see eye to eye on whether their existing bilateral free trade agreement needs to be amended. The U.S. beef industry has seen its market share in South Korea increase and it doesn't support a change in terms. Countries such as Japan that have large trade surpluses with the US are watching on with interest.

The trade issue has emerged just as the US and South Korea need each other's support to fight together against North Korea's nuclear threat. Korus also helps the US on a strategic level as China's economic and political influence grows in the region.

South Korea is the US' seventh-largest trading partner, while the US is South Korea's second-biggest partner after China. US figures indicate its goods deficit with South Korea was $27.7 billion past year, or about $4.4 billion more than the number Korea came up with.

Trump, in an interview in April, had branded the trade agreement a "horrible deal" and indicated he would renegotiate or terminate the accord. The special committee serves as something of a watchdog for the. On the other end, Seoul is trying tone down speculation the meeting will be a hostile affair, saying the talks will be a broad "evaluation" that includes highlighting of the FTA's mutual benefits rather than focusing exclusively on its shortcomings.

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