December 18, 2017 / 1:09 AM / 3 months ago

South Korea trade ministry says ready to begin renegotiating U.S. trade pact

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s trade ministry said on Monday it had reported to parliament a plan to renegotiate the 2012 free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States after President Donald Trump threatened earlier this year to scrap the accord unless it was revised.

Hanjin Shipping's container terminal is seen at the Busan New Port in Busan, about 420 km (261 miles) southeast of Seoul August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

The trade ministry said in a statement that Monday’s report completes South Korea’s own process to begin renegotiations of the KORUS FTA, as it is known. Specific dates for renegotiations will be determined in future.

South Korea will seek to protect sensitive industries such as agriculture and livestock while formulating its approach to subjects the United States is expected to raise, including products’ country of origin, services, investment and non-tariff measures, the ministry said.

Trump has complained about current U.S. trade deficit with South Korea, while South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said the Korea-U.S. FTA benefits both countries by expanding their trade.

Moon has said the U.S trade deficit with South Korea was limited to products and was shrinking while South Korea continued to post large trade deficits with the United States in the service sector.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Eric Meijer

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