|Published : 18 Apr 2017, 18:35:10 | Updated : 18 Apr 2017, 18:47:20|
‘Gold standard’ in trade pacts now turn out to be too sour for US
The Korea-US trade agreement that was negotiated during the Republican administration of George W Bush, is now caught up in the Trump administration’s push to address bilateral trade deficits blamed for the loss of US manufacturing jobs, according to a global media report.
The US vice-president, Mike Pence, announced in Seoul on Tuesday that the Trump administration will review and reform the US trade deal with South Korea.
He cited a widening bilateral trade deficit and obstacles for American businesses in the east Asian nation in his discussions with Korea business leaders in Seoul, the report added.
The US has to “level that playing field”, Pence observed, stating that Washington will work with Seoul while reforming Korus [the Korea-US trade deal] in the coming days, according to the report.
The US trade deal with South Korea was once touted by Washington as the “gold standard” in trade pacts. Mr Pence’s comments in Seoul, prior to his flying to Tokyo for the second leg of his four-nation Asian tour, serve here a rebuttal of that view.
The new US administration had already pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade agreement, and stepped up attacks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the report added.
Meanwhile, the US trade deficit in goods with South Korea, which has existed for two decades, has soared in recent years from $16.6bn in 2012 to $27.7bn in 2016, the report stated.