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(Neb)-Sasse Opposes Pullout From Korean Free Trade Agreement

By: John Axtell Posted at: 09/03/2017 12:01 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Donald Trump hinted yesterday he may pull out of the country's 5-year old free trade agreement with South Korea, saying he would discuss the fate of the pact with his advisors this coming week.

      Trump made his remarks to reporters while visiting hurricane-hit Houston a day after he spoke with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and struck a deal allowing Seoul access to longer-range missiles as well as a potential arms sale.

     The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement was hammered out by Democrat Barack Obama and has been a frequent target for Trump, who calls it an unequal deal that gives South Korea a nearly $28-billion dollar trade surplus.

      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent out an email to members that called for an "all hands on deck effort" to have senior executives call the White House and other administration officials and tell them to drop the idea.

     Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse issued a statement saying the President and Nebraska have a basic disagreement about trade.

      Sasse says the Administration holds 18th-century views of trade as a zero-sum winner-loser game while he sides with the farmers and ranchers he says are feeding the world now.

      A South Korean trade ministry official said the government has been "thoroughly preparing for all possibilities" and would negotiate with Washington with an open attitude.

     The two sides held a one-day videoconference two weeks ago about possible revisions to the agreement but ended without a decision on the next steps for possible revisions.

     Pulling out of the South Korean free trade deal would mark the latest step taken by Trump to abandon the type of international trade agreement that had exemplified world economics for decades.

    Senator Sasse and Nebraska political and ag leaders have already been opposing the president over his threat to pull out of NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement.

       Trump agreed to renegotiate NAFTA’s terms, but last week renewed his threat to scrap the 23-year-old trade pact, even as U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade negotiators were preparing for this weekend’s second round of talks in Mexico City.


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