Kevin Brady, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, recently said that the Donald Trump administration should have a robust and rigorous consultation with the U.S. Congress in compliance with the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) with regard to KORUS FTA renegotiation.
He also pointed out that the consultation is essential for any modification of the current KORUS FTA, not to mention renegotiation. House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee chairman Dave Reichert also said that he is proud to champion the five-year-old agreement that has increased potato exports from his home state by 80% and cherry exports from Washington by 200%.
In spite of the brake from the Congress and the lack of official announcement, it is said that renegotiation has already begun. The U.S. President already told the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to organize a special committee for the purpose. The committee is capable of amending the agreement.
“According to the KORUS FTA, the agreement can be amended once both parties agree to do so,” said professor Choi Won-mok at the Ewha Womans University Law School, adding, “Adoption of an agreement on amendment requires the consent of both parties, but initiation is automatically commenced when at least one of them asks the joint committee to do so.” In addition, the U.S. President can retract his request for renegotiation or cancel the FTA if South Korea refuses to accept his request for renegotiation.