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Only 20 percent of Americans believe FTA with Korea hurt U.S.

All News 05:23 September 30, 2016

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) -- Only 20 percent of Americans believe the free trade deal with South Korea is detrimental to the U.S. economy, a survey showed Thursday, despite Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's heavy criticism of the pact.

The poll of 1,000 adults, conducted by the Politico newspaper and Harvard University Aug. 31-Sept. 4, also showed that 20 percent of the respondents think the trade pact is beneficial to the U.S. while 44 percent believe it has not made much difference.

The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, also showed that 17 percent of Democrats believe the deal with Korea hurt the U.S. while 32 percent of Republicans believe so.

Trump has long blamed free trade deals as a key cause of American economic problems in an attempt to rally support from voters struggling with economic woes. He has denounced the pact with Korea as a "job killing" deal and a "disaster."

The painstakingly negotiated Korea-U.S. FTA has been in effect since 2012 and has widely been considered a symbol of the economic alliance between the two countries. Attempts to revise or renegotiate the agreement could set off diplomatic tensions.

Trump claims the pact ended up increasing U.S. imports from South Korea while failing to increase exports.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said in a report in late June that the Korea deal has been good for American interests, saying the agreement is estimated to have improved bilateral merchandise trade balances by $15.8 billion last year.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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