[Rebroadcast] In Defense of KORUS: Phil Eskeland, Troy Stangarone, and Kyle Ferrier
Recently released data from the Department of Commerce confirmed that the United States achieved record-level export of services to South Korea in 2018 – $24.5 billion. Combined with the trade in physical goods, the total bilateral trade deficit between the United States and South Korea is at an 8-year low. Now, there are eight more countries with a higher bilateral trade deficit with the United States than Korea, including France, Italy, and Taiwan.
Trade deficit with South Korea was something that President Trump highlighted during his presidential campaign – he blamed this on the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement and in 2017 called for the agreement to be renegotiated. A new agreement was negotiated in 2018 but the newest data suggests that the old agreement may not have been the key driver or a widening trade deficit after all.
At this point in time, we look back and replay an episode from September 2017 where KEI's panel of Phil Eskeland, Troy Stangarone, and Kyle Ferrier analyzed President Trump’s approach to the Korea-US free trade agreement and recommended against abruptly revising the treaty.
You can also read KEI's summary of the 2018 trade data here