World Economy

South Korea trade ministry says ready to begin renegotiating US trade pact

Key Points
  • South Korea has initiated a plan to renegotiate its 2012 free trade agreement with the U.S.
  • Earlier this year, President Donald Trump threatened to scrap the deal unless it was revised

South Korea's trade ministry said on Monday it had reported to parliament a plan to renegotiate the 2012 free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States after President Donald Trump threatened earlier this year to scrap the accord unless it was revised.

President Donald Trump shares a toast during a state dinner hosted by South Korea's President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea November 7, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The trade ministry said in a statement that Monday's report completes South Korea's own process to begin renegotiations of the KORUS FTA, as it is known.

Specific dates for renegotiations will be determined in future. South Korea will seek to protect sensitive industries such as agriculture and livestock while formulating its approach to subjects the United States is expected to raise, including products' country of origin, services, investment and non-tariff measures, the ministry said.

Trump has complained about current U.S. trade deficit with South Korea, while South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said the Korea-U.S. FTA benefits both countries by expanding their trade.

Moon has said the U.S trade deficit with South Korea was limited to products and was shrinking while South Korea continued to post large trade deficits with the United States in the service sector.