The process of renegotiating the South Korea-U.S.
free trade agreement may be picking up steam,… with President Trump’s visit now in the rearview
mirror. Trump was notably softer in his tone regarding
trade during his stay in Seoul,… adding to hopes the two sides may be able to resolve
their differences in a speedy manner. Yu Joonhee reports. Over the course of his two-day visit to Korea,… President Donald Trump did not openly criticize
the South Korea-U.S. FTA… as some observers had feared. He only made a handful of benign, passing
remarks on the issue of trade… far removed from his rhetoric from earlier this year,…
where he threatened to terminate the deal. Following his summit talks with President
Moon Jae-in,… Trump said the two leaders agreed to improve their trade relations…
on the principle of fairness and reciprocity. Perhaps positive signs,… as Seoul and Washington
prepare to start the renegotiation process… but both sides are still eager to take the
upper hand. The U.S. is said to be seeking… a two-point-five
percent tariff rate on Korean auto imports… as well as additional duties on Korean steel
products as well. According to local government think tanks,…
Korea’s agriculture industry may be the one sector that is most vulnerable… to potential
changes. This finding was announced… by a trio of
government research bodies… led by the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy,…
which are set to release a joint report on their study on Friday. Seoul could seek to relieve itself from U.S.
pressure on these fronts… by expanding its acquisition of American weaponry. Korea was the eighth-largest importer of U.S.
defense products last year, importing some 500 million dollars worth of armaments. FTA re-negotiations… had been initially
forecast to begin sometime next year,… but if all goes according to plan… some experts
now say the process could begin as early as December. Yu Joonhee, Arirang News.