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Trump mentions renegotiation of Korea-US FTA again

Posted September. 23, 2017 07:22,   

Updated September. 23, 2017 07:40


U.S. President Donald Trump raised the issue of renegotiating Korea-US FTA again on Thursday (local time) by saying, “We are going to fix it (Korea-US trade deal) as it is bad for us and good for Korea.”

In a bilateral meeting with President Moon Jae-in, who visited the U.S. to attend the UN General Assembly, Trump said, “The trade deal is too bad for us and too good for South Korea. Hence, we will make efforts to fix the deal so that it can be beneficial to both sides.” His comment came after 15 days when the White House said the White House would not discuss on the withdrawal of Korea-US FTA on Sept. 6. However, Trump did not make any further comments on it.

Korea takes an active move on the issue of FTA revision. South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer prior to the bilateral meeting between their leaders. Kim proposed to hold the second special session of joint committee meeting to make progress on issues discussed during the initial session which was held on Aug. 22 in Seoul. Kim also sent an official letter asking to hold a working level meeting to coordinate schedule, agenda and details within this week.

Ko Joon-seong, a researcher at Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, said that the minister’s letter was to demand answers to the U.S., which proposed a joint study as a precondition for the negotiation to revise FTA. “We will emphasize that the Korea-US FTA has been mutually beneficial,” the ministry said. “We are open for dialogue for mutual understanding.”

Hye-Ryung Choi herstory@donga.com