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U.S., Korea to Hold Second Meeting on KORUS Oct. 4

Monday, September 25, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. and South Korea will meet in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4 for further discussions on their bilateral free trade agreement. Korean trade minister Kim Hyun Chong proposed the second special session of the joint committee under KORUS after meeting with Lighthizer in Washington Sept. 20.

The joint committee held its first special session in August. The U.S. requested that meeting to discuss concerns about implementation of the FTA as well as possible amendments and modifications, citing problems such as the U.S. trade deficit with Korea and market access for U.S. exports. Korea agreed to meet but said it saw no need for substantial revisions, arguing that the agreement has generated mutually beneficial outcomes in terms of trade, investment, and employment.

There appeared to be little progress at the August session. Korean officials said they rejected a U.S. proposal to renegotiate KORUS and instead called for a joint study on its effects before any further decisions are made. President Trump subsequently considered notifying Korea that the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement, possibly as a tactic to persuade Korea to agree to renegotiate, but put that decision on hold following opposition from administration officials, lawmakers, business groups, and others.

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