Essay Example on South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun

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South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun chong is taking a page from Justin Trudeau citing the Canadian prime minister's international trade mantra that no deal is better than a bad deal when negotiating revisions to the country's free trade agreement with the U S In the KORUS FTA negotiations both countries must reach a win win result There will be no unilateral yielding Kim said Jan 8 at a briefing in Seoul after Director General for FTA Negotiations Yoo Myung hee led talks with U S Assistant Trade Representative Michael Beeman in Washington on Jan 5 for the first round of talks to revise their bilateral trade deal While Canada is stalled in talks with the U S and Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA South Korea and the U S have only laid out their differences ahead of negotiating amendments and modifications to the Korea U S free trade agreement KORUS which entered into force in 2012 The two sides are expected to meet at least monthly with the second round of talks slated for the end of January or early February Kim added that South Korea would not tolerate a negotiation that disturbs our technology development and ties the hands and feet of our future generations He also pointed to the U S s upcoming announcement on safeguard measures against South Korean washing machines vowing that if the U S violates international regulations

Seoul will respond firmly by filing with the World Trade Organization WTO Kim said he told the negotiation team that agriculture a local industry that strongly opposes KORUS was the red line and to walk out if the opposition approached the issue Scapegoat Negotiator But South Korea is a much smaller trade partner than Canada meaning Kim doesn t have the same leverage to scrap the deal said Ethan Cho of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Yet Kim could potentially be used as a scapegoat if the government believes the U S is asking too much it would ask Kim to resign he said KORUS will be a particularly hot issue ahead of by elections in June he added Once Kim quits there will be no one in charge Without full mandate from the government no one can carry out the negotiation he said Ousting top officials amid scandals or poor performance is a familiar tactic in local politics Ten ministers were replaced in the first 17 months of the previous Park Geun hye administration Moon Jae in s administration inaugurated last May has already replaced one a minister of small and medium size enterprises and startups On the other hand Bawoo Kim of the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade said the two sides would not lose much in talks whose scope is limited to amendments and modifications rather than a full renegotiation


The bilateral alliance is particularly strong due to the military partnership amid the North Korean nuclear threat he told Bloomberg Law Pickup Tariffs A Moot Demand As in NAFTA autos are a key sticking point for the U S in KORUS talks Autos formed 18 8 billion of the U S s 28 billion goods trade deficit with South Korea in 2016 according to Office of U S Trade Representative data In addition Washington reportedly wants to require Korean automakers to use more American made parts in cars sold in the country Both countries have raised various issues such as automobiles The negotiations have just begun and it will be hard to make predictions but it will not be smooth Minister Kim said As a counteroffer Seoul requested amendments to the investor state dispute settlement ISDS scheme which allows private companies to sue governments Yoo said Cho said it would not be a large sacrifice for the U S to consider it as an item for compromise for its demands on the auto sector The U S wants to maintain a 25 percent tariff on Korean pickup trucks which will be phased out from 2019 according to a Reuters report But Korea s main automakers Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Motors do not even sell pickup trucks in the U S noted Koo Hee cheol director of industry research at the Korean Automobile Manufacturers Association Hyundai revealed its Santa Cruz small pickup concept in 2015 but is still assessing U S demand spokeswoman Seonjin Cha told Bloomberg Law Local automakers also believe Washington wants to increase the limit of 25 000 vehicles per U S automaker that are exempt from South Korea s stricter emissions regulations But no U S companies approach that cap Koo noted Koo said automakers are more concerned about inroads into the U S than defending the local market If the level of competitiveness is not maintained in the global market it is extremely difficult to survive in this system We need to approach our competition with this in mind Koo told Bloomberg Law


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