SEJONG, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's trade ministry on Wednesday held a meeting with U.S. business people to seek ways to bolster bilateral economic cooperation under the new Trump administration.
In a breakfast meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) in Seoul, Vice Trade Minister Woo Tae-hee said the two countries have had a close relationship in terms of economy and trade, with the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (KORUS FTA) playing a big role.
"We expect the members of AMCHAM to promote that the KORUS FTA has contributed to providing a reciprocally beneficiary trade platform to both countries," said Woo.
Following his inauguration on Friday last week, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from a massive Asia-Pacific free trade deal as part of his constant remarks against free trade.
Many fear that the new U.S. president will take similar actions with many free trade agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the KORUS FTA, which took effect in 2012.
He has denounced the Seoul-Washington FTA as a job destroyer, hinting that he would seek to revise the terms.
Asia's fourth-largest economy posted US$23.3 billion in trade surplus with the United States last year, accounting for 26 percent of the country's total trade surplus.
However, in a recent annual government-level meeting on pending trade issues over the Korea-U.S. FTA, the two sides did not mention any possibility of renegotiations.
"In order to keep the Seoul-Washington economic partnership unwavering, the South Korean government will do its best to expand bilateral partnership," said the vice trade minister. "We will also make efforts to upgrade local regulations in favor of foreign investors."
Park So-yeon firstname.lastname@example.org
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