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Trump could invoke 'Super 301' trade sanctions: KOTRA report

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is expected to seek protectionist trade policies that could include invoking the powerful "Super 301" trade sanctions against foreign countries, a report said Tuesday.

The Super 301 tool, which authorizes the president to take retaliatory measures against countries engaged in unfair trading practices, is among a series of options Trump could take without consent from Congress, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said in a report.

Under his "America First" foreign policy, Trump has expressed deeply negative views of free trade with other countries. In a major foreign policy speech last month, he denounced the North American Free Trade Agreement as a "total disaster" that "emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs."

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), considered a key foreign policy adviser for Trump, has also strongly criticized the free trade agreement with South Korea, saying it brought no benefits to the U.S. and ended up increasing South Korea's exports to the country.

The Super 301, which refers to Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974, expired in 1990, but former President Bill Clinton reactivated it three times in the 1990s. A future American president also has the right to revive the trade retaliation tool.

The KOTRA report also said that a Trump administration could also threaten to scrap the Korea-U.S. free trade pact in an attempt to renegotiate the deal in a way that increases American interests.

Walid Phares, a top foreign policy adviser to Trump, said in a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency and Yonhap News Television that Trump wants to "go back to ground zero" and is ready to renegotiate the landmark trade deal that has been in effect since 2012.

It was the first time that a Trump campaign official has mentioned the possibility of negotiating the pact that has been viewed as an economic alliance between the two countries.

Renegotiation attempts could set off a diplomatic row. (Yonhap)
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