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Sen Sasse Criticizes Trump's '18th-Century Views of Trade'

Sen Sasse Criticizes Trump's '18th-Century Views of Trade'

Trump, who was visiting Houston on Saturday following the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, answered "I am" when asked if he was discussing with his advisors on the termination of the bilateral free trade pact with Korea as reported by the Washington Post earlier. No final decision has been made and Trump could remain in the agreement to see if changes are still possible, the newspaper reported, citing several people close to the process whom it didn't identify.

"The government has constantly announced its stance on the KORUS FTA negotiations for national interest and national dignity", said an MOTIE official after hearing news about President Trump's remarks on the Korea-US FTA.

Since the Washington Post's report there have been growing concerns from the US trade community.

The Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Sunday said it is preparing for all possibilities and monitoring the situation closely.

South Korea is "thoroughly preparing for all possibilities and will closely monitor" the USA developments over the trade agreement, the ministry official said, according to Yonhap.

Meanwhile, South Korea's trade surplus to the USA plummeted in the first half of the year, casting doubt on Trump's claim that the deal delivered economic losses to U.S. trade.

Trump's push to revise the deal is part of his broader drive to tackle unfair trading practices and cut the trade deficit.

President Trump has instructed advisers to prepare a withdrawal from the U.S.'s free trade agreement with South Korea, several people close to the process said, a move that would stoke economic tensions with the USA ally at a time both countries confront a crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Washington tells Russian Federation to close consulate, buildings in US
The move is seen as a retaliation by the Trump administration against the expulsion of USA diplomats by Russian Federation . Black smoke billows from a chimney on top of the Russian consulate on September 1, 2017 in San Francisco , California.

South Korea is "thoroughly preparing for all possibilities and will closely monitor" the United States developments over the trade agreement, the ministry official said, according to Yonhap.

Critics argue pulling out of the deal could strain relations between the countries as they both try and mitigate how to deal with the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) greets South Korean President Moon Jae-in prior to delivering a joint statement from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2017.

South Korea is the sixth largest goods trading partner with the U.S., accounting for $112.2 billion in two-way trade a year ago, according to the U.S. Trade Representative.

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.

This isn't the first time Sasse has criticized Trump's foreign trade politics.

"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!" USA beef sales to South Korea rose to $1.1 billion in 2016 from $582 million in 2012, making South Korea the second-largest export market for US, according statistics from industry associations.


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