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Trade ministry submits KORUS FTA renegotiation plan to National Assembly

정부, '한미FTA 개정협상계획' 국회 보고 Turning our attention to the Korean government's preparations to renegotiate the existing free trade deal with Washington. After conducting studies and gathering public opinion, Seoul's plan on the matter is now ready. Kim Hyesung has the details. Korea's Trade Ministry has submitted its plan to renegotiate the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement to the National Assembly. To come up with the plan, the Ministry for Trade, Industry, and Energy has conducted economic feasibility studies on the deal and has gathered opinions from the agricultural and manufacturing sectors through two public hearings and 26 rounds of meetings. The report covers the purpose and strategies for the renegotiations and the public hearing results. The Trade Ministry added that it will protect the country's agriculture and livestock industries, and try to reach a mutually beneficial deal by touching on issues like services, investment, products' country of origin and non-tariff measures. (Korean)- The report to the National Assembly on Monday wraps up the domestic procedures needed before talks with Washington on amendments can officially begin. It's been almost six years since the KORUS FTA came into effect, some changes can benefit both parties. At the same time, it will be important for Korea to minimize opening its sensitive industries like livestock. This comes after the leaders of South Korea and the U.S. agreed to speed up the process of amending the trade pact during their summit in Seoul in November. President Trump has complained about the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea, while President Moon Jae-in has said that deficit was limited to products and has been shrinking while Korea has continued to post large trade deficits in the service sector. Specific dates for renegotiations will be announced in the near future. Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.

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