Sep 2, 2017

Trump exploring withdrawal from South Korea trade agreement

President Trump is seriously considering a withdrawal from the U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement that went into effect in 2012, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Ending the agreement could initiate a trade war with South Korea, an important U.S. ally in the face of rising North Korea tensions, and is opposed by top Trump advisors, per the Washington Post.

  • National Association of Manufacturers members received an "alert" this morning that Trump was preparing to withdraw and were asked "to weigh in as soon as possible" with administration officials and lawmakers, per the Wall Street Journal.
  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer noted the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea doubled to $27.6 billion since 2012, per WaPo.
  • There was $112.2 billion in trade between the U.S. and South Korea, America's sixth-largest trading partner, in 2016.

WSJ reports Trump will meet with advisors on Tuesday to discuss the potential withdrawal further.

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