The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on May 1 that top officials of the Ministry met to discuss responses to the fast changing environment of the trade between Korea and the United States after the U.S. President ordered a review of free trade agreements.
Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Joo Hyunghwan presided a meeting to discuss measures for the latest developments related to the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), and underscored the government’s preparedness for all possibilities.
“The government has thoroughly prepared for all possibilities regarding the KORUS FTA including the renegotiation of the trade pact, and will respond in the same manner to any issues that may arise in the future,” Minister Joo said.
The Korean government will continue discuss the faithful implementation of the KOFUS FTA with the U.S. through the communication channels established under the FTA. It will also bolster outreach activities in the U.S. to publicize mutually beneficial outcomes of the KORUS FTA.
The planned outreach activities include involvement in the Doorknock trip in May to Washington D.C. by the leadership of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) to promote bilateral trade and in the SelectUSA Investment Summit in June in Washington D.C.
On the same day, Trade, Industry and Energy Vice Minister Woo Taehee presided a separate pan-government meeting to discuss the matter.
At the seventh meeting of the working group on Korea-U.S. trade, Vice Minister Woo highlighted the need to thoroughly and systematically respond to latest actions taken by the U.S. administration including a presidential executive order on March 31 to investigate trade deficits; a presidential memorandum on April 20 to assess the impacts of steel imports on U.S. national security; and a presidential executive order on April 29 to review all trade agreements to which the U.S. is a party.
The Ministry has set up in advance a task force to deal with the issues of balance in trade between the two countries while another task force to examine measures against imports from Korea will be expanded to deal with restrictions on Korean steel products.
The government launched a committee on Korea-U.S. trade in November last year to facilitate public-private coordination, and has closely monitored the trade between the two countries since the inauguration of the new U.S. administration. The government has also established a trade policy forum, a trade negotiation advisory committee, and a trade promotion committee. Furthermore, the government has endeavored to manage trade issues in stable manner through committees established under the KORUS FTA and high-level communication channels.