USA lawmakers urge Trump to keep S

President Trump with South Korean President Moon Jae-in

President Trump with South Korean President Moon Jae-in

U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS, for short), which took effect in 2012, benefitted U.S. agricultural exports by securing a much larger share of the South Korean market for U.S. beef, pork and other agricultural exports than we had before KORUS.

Fischer wrote: "During this challenging time, we must demonstrate solidarity with our allies as they face significant threats".

The Inside U.S. Trade reported on September 4 that the United States demanded the opening of the South Korean agricultural market on August 22 at the two countries joint committee meeting.

"The US will lose significant market share to the EU, Australia, China and others while sending a very unsafe message that America is not interested in doing business in Asia", wrote Tami Overby, the lobbying group's senior vice president for Asia. "As American soybean farmers, we demand that the USA remain in KORUS, and that we move forward to negotiate new trade agreements rather than retreating from existing ones".

Fischer concluded: "We are witnessing one of the toughest farm economies since the 1980s".

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes U.S. withdrawal from KORUS in the strongest possible terms".

The National Pork Producers Council has also actively been sharing the detrimental effect on USA pork producers reverting to pre-KORUS tariffs would have. While this is a legitimate concern for US businesses, the administration needs to take the case to the World Trade Organization and build a coalition of willing partners to press China to curb their abusive practices, rather than take unilateral steps to impose tariffs on Beijing. Along with the others, the president has declared Korus a "horrible" deal, saying he would cut the deal to help trim the USA trade deficit with Asia's fourth-largest economy.


Two cases on the matter now sit before the International Trade Commission, said a lawyer who represents USA steel and declined to be named because of pending litigation. The United States runs a trade deficit with South Korea.

"We are afraid the termination of the trade deal will end up a typical case of a lose-lose game".

But U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday that he hoped the two countries could have a successful discussion to amend the agreement, appearing to back away from Trump's threat of withdrawing from the trade pact. Combined with the summary withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific trade agreement, cavalierly threatening our stalwart South Korean ally will inevitably bring into question the future of United States reliability and leadership in East Asia - and beyond. China reacted poorly and reportedly instructed tour operators to stop sending Chinese travelers to South Korea (Chinese tourists accounted for nearly half of South Korea's tourist visitors last year). The country is the fourth largest market for US dairy exports.

"With the Korean deal, we terminate and it's over", Trump said in April, in line with his opposition to other free trade deals which saw many U.S. manufacturing jobs shipped overseas.

"KORUS has solidified and enhanced our longtime and fruitful partnership with South Korea". Free Trade Agreement is on hold for now.

Whether Trump will go that far remains to be seen. "KORUS, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, has been very good for American agriculture".

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