print
print

Key Topic: Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recently called for a special session of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) Joint Committee to discuss possible modifications to the agreement. Following the Aug. 22 meeting, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer noted that two issues he specifically hopes to address are the expansion of the United States’ trade deficit with South Korea since KORUS was implemented in 2012, as well as a decline in total U.S. goods exported to Korea.

UPDATE: Fortunately, the Trump administration apparently intends to pursue amendments to KORUS but has no immediate plans (contrary to earlier reports) to withdraw from the agreement. A second session of the KORUS Joint Committee was held Oct. 4, with USTR releasing this statement. This is a situation that USMEF and its industry partners continue to monitor carefully.

UPDATE: On Dec. 18, 2017, the South Korean government submitted a plan on the renegotiation of KORUS to the National Assembly. This will effectively conclude the domestic procedures required before the Korean government can formally open talks with the Trump administration.

UPDATE: On Jan. 5, 2018, trade officials from the United States and South Korea met to advance talks related to possible amendments and modifications to KORUS. USTR issued a brief statement following the meeting.

UPDATE: Jan. 31-Feb.1, 2018, trade officials from the U.S. and Korea met for the second time on possible amendments and modifications to KORUS. USTR issued a brief statement following the meeting. Further negotiations are expected soon, but no timeline for the next meeting has yet been announced.

Key points on the critical importance of KORUS to U.S. red meat exports are available in this fact sheet.