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USGC Statement On Potential Withdrawal From KORUS

07 September 2017

An American business lobbying group says President Donald Trump is considering triggering a withdrawal from a free trade agreement with South Korea. Inside U.S. Trade in recent days has.

The move reportedly has drawn opposition from members of the president's national security team who are concerned it would increase tensions with an important ally (South Korea) during the middle of the crisis involving North Korea's nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs.

Since 2012, the USA "trade deficit in goods with Korea has doubled from $13.2billion to $27.6billion, while United States goods exports have actually gone down". Trade makes our local businesses and our communities stronger.

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South Korea was the third largest volume importer of USA wheat in marketing year 2016/17 (June to May), the two organizations noted.

South Korea is heavily dependent on agricultural imports.

"They reaffirmed that they're considering withdrawing from the South Korean trade agreement", Washington Democratic Rep. Adam Smith said after attending a meeting led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and others.

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The second round of negotiations to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement will finish September 5 in Mexico City.

It went onto describe Korea as "a significant economic partner", the United States' seventh largest export market and "a vital customer for US manufacturers, services providers, farmers, and ranchers". It's also unclear how the escalating crisis in North Korea is impacting these potential moves on trade. Along with the others, the president has declared Korus a "horrible" deal, saying he would cut the deal to help trim the US trade deficit with Asia's fourth-largest economy.

It pointed to a study by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, which argued that the effective tariffs on South Korean manufactured goods might have been even lower without Korus. For the 12-month period ending May 2017, USA pork exports to South Korea were $444 million, making the Asian nation the No. 5 export market for US pork.

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As part of the Haiti HOPE/HELP trade preference programs, apparel imported under the value-added provision can come into the USA duty free as long as a certain percentage of the garment's export value can be attributed to Haiti, the US or any other preference or FTA country. "For the year ended June 2017, about 50 million square meter equivalents (SME) of garments entered under these provisions, about double what came in just two years ago, but still only about 16 percent of total apparel imports from Haiti".

USGC Statement On Potential Withdrawal From KORUS