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U.S. tells South Korea it plans to start talks to amend trade pact

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Reuters) - The United States said on Wednesday it had notified South Korea that it is seeking negotiations to make amendments to a five-year-old free trade agreement to remove barriers to U.S. trade.

"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," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement, referring to the U.S.-Korean trade agreement.

He said a meeting of the joint committee, chaired by USTR and South Korea's trade ministry, will meet in Washington in August to discuss the next steps. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Leslie Adler)