UPDATE : 2018.6.23 SAT 13:20
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S. Korea to hold public hearing on KORUS FTA

South Korea will hold a public hearing on the free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States to gather opinions from various circles before it officially takes steps to revise the five-year-old deal, the government said Thursday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy will host the public hearing on Friday at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul. Policymakers, trade experts and citizens will take part in the talks.

The public hearing is a prerequisite process before the government opens talks for amending the trade deal, known as the KORUS FTA, which took effect in 2012.

You Myung-hee, a senior ministry official in charge of the trade policy, will brief those at the hearing about the KORUS FTA and panels will discuss how the renegotiation will affect the local economy and suggest effective strategies.

The ministry said it will reflect their opinions in their plans and notify its intention to renegotiate the deal to parliament within this month. This process will wrap up the domestic procedures needed for opening talks.

The U.S. administration has to send a letter notifying Congress that it intends to launch KORUS FTA negotiations in 90 days, and hold public hearings and disclose its goal 30 days prior to official talks.

During his two-day visit to Seoul this week, U.S. President Donald Trump said he wants "a free, fair and reciprocal trade deal" with South Korea. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his government will make efforts to renegotiate the pact as soon as possible.

Hwi Won  edt@koeapost.com

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