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Reinforcing U.S.-ROK Economic Relations through a Better Understanding of the KORUS FTA
Author: Suh Jin Kyo
Published August 1, 2017
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President Donald Trump has made it clear that he intends to follow through on his protectionist campaign promises. On his first day in office, he formally removed the United States from the TPP. Trump has also informed congressional leaders of his intent to renegotiate NAFTA, the biggest trade deal ever signed by Washington. If a draft letter being circulated by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is approved by Congress, formal negotiations with Canada and Mexico could start later this year. Additionally, the president signed an executive order for USTR and the Department of Commerce to lead a comprehensive study of unfair trade practices of major trading partners. The result could provide the economic and political justifications needed to take bold and legally defensible actions. The administration also launched an investigation into the national security risks that may arise from a global oversupply of aluminum and steel. There are clear indications it may look to restrict aluminum and steel imports before long. Trump is now targeting the KORUS FTA. He has threatened to terminate the five-year-old trade deal, which, he claims, has been devastating for the American economy, unless Korea gives the United States better terms, citing the arrangement’s simpler process of termination relative to NAFTA.

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