With the United States putting pressure on South Korea to revise the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, South Korea’s trade surplus with the U.S. for the first seven months of this year plunged 35 percent. The country’s trade surplus with the U.S. in July alone also fell 9.8 percent year on year.
According to a report titled “Trend of Imports & Exports in July” released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) on August 1, South Korea’s trade surplus with the U.S. from January to July stood at US$9.65 billion (10.85 trillion won), down 35.6 percent, or US$5.33 billion (5.99 trillion won), from US$14.98 billion (16.85 trillion won) at the same period a year earlier. As for July alone, the country’s exports to the U.S. grew 7 percent but its trade surplus dropped US$180 million (202.41 billion won) year on year to US$1.66 billion (1.87 trillion won).
Park Jin-kyu, director general for international trade policy at the MOTIE, said, “This is because the U.S. market for automobiles and mobile devices is sluggish, while imports for U.S. semiconductor equipment, aircraft parts and energy, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), have increased.”