On July 12, 2017, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that USTR Robert Lighthizer, as directed by President Trump, formally notified the Republic of Korea that the United States is calling a special Joint Committee meeting under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to start the process of negotiating to remove barriers to U.S. trade and consider needed amendments to the agreement. The announcement said that the USTR acted in accord with the President’s intention of reducing the trade deficit and giving Americans a better chance to succeed in global markets.

“President Trump continues to keep his promises to lower our trade deficit and negotiate better trade deals for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “Since KORUS went into effect, our trade deficit in goods with Korea has doubled from $13.2 billion to $27.6 billion, while U.S. goods exports have actually gone down. This is quite different from what the previous Administration sold to the American people when it urged approval of this Agreement. We can and must do better.”

Ambassador Lighthizer has called for the special Joint Committee Meeting to take place in Washington, D.C., on a date next month to be agreed upon by the Parties. Throughout this process, USTR will work closely with Congress, the Department of Commerce, other relevant government agencies, and stakeholders to achieve the best outcome for the American people.

Read the Full Text of the USTR Letter to the Republic of Korea click here.