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USTR formally demands renegotiation of free trade agreement with S. Korea

All Headlines 05:22 July 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Yonhap) -- The United States formally notified South Korea that it wants to start the process of renegotiating the free trade agreement between the two countries, the office of the U.S. trade representative said Wednesday.

USTR Robert Lighthizer made the notification that the U.S. is "calling a special Joint Committee meeting under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to start the process of negotiating to remove barriers to U.S. trade and consider needed amendments to the agreement," the office said in a statement.

The USTR acted in accord with President Donald Trump's intention of reducing the trade deficit, it said.

"President Trump continues to keep his promises to lower our trade deficit and negotiate better trade deals for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses," Lighthizer said in the statement.

"Since KORUS went into effect, our trade deficit in goods with Korea has doubled from $13.2 billion to $27.6 billion, while U.S. goods exports have actually gone down. This is quite different from what the previous Administration sold to the American people when it urged approval of this Agreement. We can and must do better," he said.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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