S. Korea says no to US request to discuss renegotiating FTA

A man walks by a huge national flag printed on the wall in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s top trade negotiator says Seoul will not discuss renegotiation of the free trade agreement with the U.S. without first looking into what is really causing the trade imbalance.

Trade Minister Kim Hyung-chong said Tuesday that Seoul proposed that Washington jointly study and evaluate the impact of the 5-year-old bilateral trade deal and the cause of a U.S. trade deficit.

Kim said the FTA was not the cause of the U.S. trade imbalance.

The countries’ trade officials held their first talks in what Washington hoped would lead to discussing amendment or modification of the trade deal that took effect five years ago. The Trump administration criticized the pact, saying that the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea had nearly doubled since the deal went into effect.

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