15:22 | 25/08/2017 Global Economy
South Korea and the U.S. reached no agreement on renegotiating their free trade pact -- decried by President Donald Trump as a "horrible deal" -- a top Seoul official said Tuesday after meeting U.S. counterparts.
|South Korea's trade minister Kim Hyun-Chong (R) at the meeting on August 22nd - Photo: Yonhap/VNA|
The U.S. administration under Trump has been seeking to revise the pact, signed by former President Barack Obama and which Trump slammed as a "job killer".
"For many, many years, the United States has suffered through massive trade deficits... we'll be changing that," Trump said during a June 30 summit with new South Korean President Moon Jae-In.
South Korea -- Asia's fourth-largest economy and the seventh-largest trading partner of the U.S. -- has maintained there is no clear link between the pact and the U.S. trade deficit.
Trade officials from both sides gathered in Seoul on Tuesday after Washington called a meeting, but failed to reach "any agreement", Seoul's trade minister Kim Hyun-Chong told reporters.
"We did not agree with the unilateral demand by the U.S. to revise the Korea-US FTA" (free trade agreement), Kim said, adding no date had been set for a further meeting.
"We also explained that the U.S. trade deficit is a result of a complex array of factors on micro and macro levels, not a result of the Korea-U.S. FTA," he said.
Trump's push to revise the deal is part of his wider drive to cut his nation's trade deficits with a number of countries including the South -- a key Asian ally with which it is confronting the threats from the nuclear-armed North.
The U.S. is the South's second-biggest trading partner after China.
The U.S. goods trade deficit with the South has more than doubled since the pact took effect in 2012, from $13.2 billion in 2011 to $27.6 billion last year, according to U.S. data.