Trump Announces His First Trade Win

Posted March 29, 2018

The amendments do not directly address some major trade issues between the two countries, including agriculture. Trump officials described the result of the deal as not performing as expected and even in some cases "disastrous".

During the meeting, Kim committed to denuclearisation in Korea if the United States and the South showed "goodwill", it was reported, with China agreeing to support its neighbor if nuclear tensions could be eased.

South Korea has been kept on a Treasury currency "monitoring list" due to its large global current account surplus and USA trade surplus.

South Korea would limit its steel exports to the United States and open its markets to more American-made cars and trucks under a preliminary agreement to revise the 2012 bilateral trade deal between the countries, the White House said Tuesday. The official said it is also a template for how Mr. Trump will broker better deals for American business and workers.

Trade in cars has been especially lopsided: South Korea past year exported to the United States 929,000 passenger vehicles worth US$15.7 billion.

"It's about time" South Korea discloses FX intervention details, an official said, asking not to be named due to sensitivity of the issue. Under the new agreement, that cap has been raised to 50,000.

Trump had called the original South Korea pact a job killer. One official said the changes will "create a suite of outcomes that are going to make it a lot easier for our auto companies to compete on a level playing field there in Korea".

South Korea's steel exports to the USA will fall by about 30 percent, but the Asian country is still subject to a 10 percent aluminum tariff.

A formal agreement on currency would be unprecedented, but it would include no enforcement mechanism.

Unions at South Korea's two-largest automakers, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., have already blasted the new agreement for blocking access to the fast-growing USA pickup truck market. The program has been limited to Korean companies.

The agreement represented the first renegotiation of an existing trade deal in the Trump administration, part of a central campaign promise he made as a candidate.

Under this agreement, being negotiated by the Treasury Department and the South Korean finance ministry, the South Koreans would commit to new rules on "transparency and accountability" with respect to their monetary policy. South Korea imports and processes significant amounts of Chinese-made steel, much of which is under anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs. It will remain subject to the 10 percent aluminum tariff imposed by Trump that took effect March 23.

The administration has threatened to initiate import restrictions such as high tariffs on steel and aluminum to gain concessions from its partners in negotiations.

The U.S. side agreed that annual exports of up to 2.7 million tons of South Korean steel products will be exempted from recently announced 25 per cent tariffs.

WASHINGTON-The Trump administration said March 27 it has widened US access to South Korea's auto market while providing American manufacturers protection from South Korean imports.