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Trump says friends and foes alike have been ripping off U.S.

All News 04:19 September 08, 2020

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his pledge Monday to make his country's trade deals "fair" to his country, insisting not only its enemies but its friends as well have been ripping off the United States.

"We will enact fair trade deals," the U.S. president told a White House press conference, adding the country was working on seven major trade deals right now.

"And when I say fair, (it means) fair to our country because our country is ripped off by every nation -- friend, foe, didn't matter. Every nation was ripping us off at a level that, it's just unbelievable to be honest," he added.

Trump did not elaborate on what the seven trade deals were, but his remark comes amid a deadlock in talks between Washington and Seoul over how much the latter should shoulder for maintaining some 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea.

Trump says friends and foes alike have been ripping off U.S. - 1

South Korea paid US$870 under last year's agreement, called the Special Measures Agreement, and has offered up its burden sharing by up to 13 percent this year.

The U.S., however, is said to be demanding $1.3 billion a year, which would mark a whopping 50 percent spike from last year but also a decline from its initial demand of $5 billion per year, according to earlier reports.

Trump argued the United States' North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies have long taken advantage of the U.S. in both military and trade.

"We are paying for NATO, almost all of it. So they rip us off in the military and then they rip us off with the European Union on trade," he told the press conference.

South Korea has already renegotiated and revised its bilateral free trade agreement with the United States, at the Trump administration's request.

Under the revised deal, implemented at the start of last year, Seoul agreed to double to 50,000 the number of U.S. vehicles allowed to enter its market each year without having to meet its industrial regulations.

The U.S., on the other hand, was given a 20-year extension until 2041 on its 25 percent import tariffs imposed on South Korean pickup trucks.


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