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Trump's tweets include criticism of South Korea

04 September, 2017, 06:40 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Trump Will Discuss South Korea Trade Deal With Senior Advisers

Tension heightened between Seoul and Washington over the weekend, upon reports by the US media that said President Donald Trump is considering a possible withdrawal from the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.

The Washington Post reported earlier Saturday that Trump has ordered his advisers to prepare plans to withdraw from the pact, and that the formal process to leave could start as soon as this week.

Chamber officials, in their memo to members, said they "and others in the US business and agriculture community have received multiple reports that the administration is prepared to send a letter to the South Korean government on Tuesday, September 5 - or possibly sooner - indicating its intent to withdraw from the bilateral trade agreement". "Discussions are ongoing, but we have no announcements at this time", a White House spokeswoman said.

The slap at South Korea was among five Sunday morning tweets from the president related to North Korea's claim that it had detonated a hydrogen bomb.

The free trade question comes at a sensitive time diplomatically, with the United States and South Korea working in tandem to counter aggression from North Korea through its development and testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

The trade agreement was signed in 2007 and went into effect in 2012.

However, administration officials noted that the United States and South Korea have been in talks on revamping the pact, also known as KORUS.

"South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!" he said.

If Trump withdraws from the agreement, he could try to force South Korea to import more USA products with little to no import restrictions, something he believes will help US companies and workers. This is quite different from what the previous Administration sold to the American people when it urged approval of this Agreement.

The Washington Post reported Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser Lt. Gen.

But in recent days he has said he might still withdraw from NAFTA, accusing Mexico in particular of refraining to offer concessions during negotiations.

There is a trade imbalance between Alabama and South Korea.

"It's very much on my mind", the USA president said.

The American business lobby group stressed that pulling out of the pact will only rupture relations between the White House and USA businesses, particularly the agricultural community, citing that exports in aerospace have doubled to $8 billion thanks to the free trade pact while agricultural goods exports to Korea soared thanks to the phasing out of the double-digit tariff.

However, the threat of terminating the agreement could enable US trade negotiators to bargain for more favorable terms, including forcing South Korea to accept more USA imports. KORUS was approved by Congress, but Trump could to pull out of the agreement on his own.



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