RoK, US to hold third round of free trade talks on March 15

Wednesday, 2018-03-14 06:53:16
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Senior Vice President Manfred Fitzgerald, head of Hyundai's Genesis brand, speaks during the media preview of the 2016 New York International Auto Show in Ma1nhattan, New York March 23, 2016. (Illustrative Image/Photo:Reuters)
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The Republic of Korea (RoK) and the United States will hold a third round of talks on a bilateral free trade agreement on March 15 in Washington, RoK's trade ministry said on March 14.

The RoK trade ministry said in a statement the two countries would discuss their respective areas of interest that were raised during the second round of talks in Seoul and seek ways to move the discussion forward.

Trade representatives from the two countries met from January 31-Feberuary 1 in Seoul.

The US-RoK Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) became law in March 2012.

Trade in goods and services between the two countries has soared since. In 2016, it hit nearly US$150 billion. RoK is now the sixth biggest US trading partner.

RoK's top exports to the US include cars, computer parts and smartphones. The top American exports to RoK are planes and food, according to Panjiva, a global trade research firm.

US President Donald Trump has been hugely critical of the deal, slamming it during his campaign as "horrible" and a "job killer." Since taking office, he has threatened to yank the US out of it altogether.

The RoK deal isn't the only one in Trump's sights. His administration is already renegotiating NAFTA, the 24-year old agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico.

Reuters, CNN