U.S. President Donald Trump put pressure on the South Korean government for KORUS FTA renegotiation during his recent summit meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Under the circumstances, South Korean automakers and steelmakers are forecast to take a hit.
The automakers are claiming that their exports to the United States have fallen and car imports from the United States have increased since the implementation of the KORUS FTA in 2012 and, as such, the imbalance in trade mentioned by the Donald Trump administration and its calculation based solely on export and import amounts makes no sense. “Since the KORUS FTA took effect, car imports from the United States have increased at an annual average of more than 30%,” one of them explained.
With regard to the non-tariff barrier called into question by the U.S. government, the automaker said that South Korea’s regulations such as tax and fuel efficiency regulations are not stricter at all than those of the U.S. and Europe.
Those in the South Korean steel industry are also saying that it is difficult for them to understand why the U.S. President is insisting on renegotiation. “The U.S. government is already putting severe restrictions and imposing anti-dumping duties on steel products imported from South Korea,” one of them mentioned.