US not planning to withdraw from S. Korea trade deal for now: report

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 7, 2017 - 09:30
  • Updated : Sept 7, 2017 - 09:30

The United States does not plan to withdraw from its free trade agreement with South Korea for now, a report quoted sources as saying Wednesday.

According to Inside US Trade, the White House assured key lawmakers that it would not push forward on its earlier plan to weigh termination of the five-year-old pact known as KORUS.

Last week, there were reports that President Donald Trump had instructed advisers to prepare for a withdrawal after the first South Korea-US meeting in August that discussed possible amendments to the deal did not go well.

President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform at the Andeavor Mandan Refinery, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Mandan, N.D. (AP-Yonhap)

Trump reportedly planned to meet with his advisers this week to further discuss the issue. But North Korea's nuclear test on Sunday led to sharp criticism that now is a time for South Korea and the US to strengthen their alliance, not undermine it with a trade row.

"The plan to terminate the agreement had been discussed with several Capitol Hill offices including that of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who was one of the lawmakers informed that the administration had decided not to withdraw," the publication quoted the sources as saying.

"But the business community has been asked by some inside the White House to keep up the pressure against withdrawal because, as one source put it, 'POTUS is so unpredictable,'" it added, using the acronym of President of the United States.

Trump has blamed the agreement for the US trade deficit with South Korea.

South Korea has called for a joint study of the agreement's impact on the two economies. (Yonhap)