The trump administration gets its wish. Ammendment of the existing South Korea- U.S.
free trade deal. Both sides are prepped and ready to start
the process. Round 1 of negotiations begin next week. Cha Sang-mi zooms in on what to expect in
Washington on January 5th. Top negotiators from Korea’s Trade Ministry
and the U.S. Trade Representative will sit down next Friday to begin negotiations over
the amendment of the two countries’ five-year-old trade deal
The first round of negotiations is set for January 5th in Washington D.C.
Korea’s Ministry for Trade, Industry, and Energy announced on Thursday that the revision
is likely to be partial, as the U.S. hasn’t gone through all of the legal steps necessary
for a full revision of the FTA. In order to carry out a full revision of the
trade deal, the U.S. would have had to follow Trade Promotion Authority procedures such
as stating its intentions to Congress ninety days before the renegotiations begin. The Trump administration wants to make amendments
in multiple fields such as the automobile and agro-livestock sectors in a bid to alleviate
its goods trade deficit. Seoul is seeking to protect sensitive sectors
like agriculture while vying for what it calls a ‘mutually beneficial’ deal. The Korean government hasn’t revealed what
demands it’ll make at the talks, but experts say there are a few expected moves. (ENGLISH) –
“The Korean government seems to be interested in weakening the Investor State Dispute Settlement
– the ISDS – and weakening the conditions to impose safeguards on American beef. Some other cards that we can play are anti
dumping.” Yet since Congress supports the U.S. anti
dumping measures, the experts predict that attacking the anti-dumping measures might
be a somewhat dangerous move. Korea’s Trade Ministry in its report to the
National Assembly last week, said that the U.S. side is likely to request tariff adjustments
to recover its trade imbalance. The negotiations will be led by Korea’s director
general for FTA Negotiations Yoo Myung-hee and U.S.’s Assistant Trade Representative
Michael Beeman. The representatives of Korea and the U.S.
have already held two preliminary meetings to arrange the amendment talks since the Moon
and Trump administrations came into power earlier this year. Cha Sang-mi, Arirang News.