The U.S. -Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), hammered out by Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, has been a frequent target for Trump, who in earlier interviews with Reuters threatened to withdraw from what he called an unequal deal in which Washington runs a trade deficit of nearly $28 billion with Seoul. If you can mobilize Republican governors or other opinion leaders who can make the geo-strategic security argument, now is the time.
Alabama exports millions of dollars in goods to, and imports millions worth of good from, South Korea...primarily because the only Hyundai plant in the U.S.is in Montgomery. "But we need you to engage now and start contacting your representatives, senators, governors and whoever else you can think of to warn President Trump that this would be a bad move for the USA beef industry and the agriculture community".
Terminating the trade agreement could put a chill on relations with a key ally in the region, though Trump campaigned on ending free trade deals he said cost U.S.jobs and put USA businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
"It's very much on my mind", the president said of the trade deal, according to a press pool report, adding that he is discussing the matter with his advisers. South Korea could also decide to refuse any discussions with Mr Trump, kicking off a trade war between the two countries.
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) greets South Korean President Moon Jae-in prior to delivering a joint statement from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2017.
Since the Washington Post's report there have been growing concerns from the USA trade community. Trump said last month that Canada and Mexico are being "difficult" and he'll probably need to scrap the pact.
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Korea's USA exports have dipped from $36.5 billion past year to $35.7 billion as of the end of June. She tells Alabama News Network: "the free trade act is really important for Hyundai"...and disbanding it completely "would damage Hyundai competitiveness in the U.S".
"One of the big reasons we made a decision to go forward with the agreement was to demonstrate to the South Koreans, North Koreans and Chinese that the USA was committed to this relationship for the long haul", Mr Green said.
Trump said on Twitter on Sunday the United States is considering halting trade with "any country doing business with North Korea". The American Chamber of Commerce and Industry warned the termination of the trade deal with South Korea could wreck the White House relationship with the industry and farming sector. The US and South Korea are aligned in heightened standoff over North Korea's nuclear program.
A broader coalition, known as the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, also urged its members on Saturday to furiously lobby public officials in favor of staying in the pact.
"Unfortunately, too many American workers have not benefited from the agreement", Mr. Lighthizer said.