Trump Preparing to Scrap Korea-US FTA

Trump says he will discuss South Korea trade deal with senior advisers

Trump says he will discuss South Korea trade deal with senior advisers

United States President Donald Trump is considering pulling out of a major trade agreement with South Korea as he tries to fulfil get-tough campaign pledges on global trade, two senior administration officials said over the weekend. -South Korea free-trade agreement with his advisers following a newspaper report that he's considering terminating the pact.

"It's very much on my mind", the President said during a visit to Houston on Saturday to view the damage from Hurricane Harvey.

Trump's comments on Saturday came amid a standoff over North Korea's missile and nuclear tests.

The US Chamber of Commerce said in an email to members that it and other business groups "have received multiple reports" that the Trump administration is prepared to notify South Korea of its intent to withdraw from KORUS tomorrow, and possibly sooner.

No final decision has been made and Mr Trump could remain in the agreement to see if changes are still possible, the newspaper reported, citing several people close to the process, whom it did not identify.

The largest USA business lobby urged member companies to have senior executives call the White House and other administration officials to tell them not to proceed, and to enlist Republican governors in the effort.

If the Trump Administration decides to withdraw from deal, the President may look to South Korea to import more US products without restrictions; something he believes will help USA businesses and workers.

The Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Sunday said it is preparing for all possibilities and monitoring the situation closely.

Trump's push to revise the deal is part of his broader drive to tackle unfair trading practices and cut the trade deficit.

Trump on August 27 renewed his threat to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico ahead of this week's second round of negotiations on rewriting the 23-year-old agreement.

Critics argue pulling out of the deal could strain relations between the countries as they both try and mitigate how to deal with the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

The White House's concerns with the deal are at odds with many inside the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the source added, saying that there is significant opposition against making any major changes to the deal, even any renegotiations. South Korea has been accused of dumping and subsidizing steel products.

According to data compiled by the Korea Economic Research Institute and the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade on Sunday, if the KORUS FTA is abolished, Korea's export loss to the US is expected to reach 30 trillion won ($26.4 billion) over the next five years and the loss of some 240,000 jobs.

Last month, Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Seoul to exchange opinions on the pact.

Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, said a move by President Trump to withdraw from the pact would hurt Nebraska's economy.

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