South Korea's top economic policymaker met with the acting US ambassador to Seoul on Tuesday and emphasized "friendly" consultations on issues concerning possible amendments to the bilateral free trade agreement, the finance ministry said.
In a meeting with Marc Knapper, who is acting as the ambassador after Mark Lippert stepped down earlier in the year, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said the South Korean government is hoping to maintain good relations as the two partners engage in further talks under the framework of a joint committee of the Seoul-Washington free trade agreement.
Last week, delegates from the two countries had a special session of the joint committee in Seoul upon the request of Washington, which has claimed that the FTA has caused a massive trade imbalance since it went into force in 2012. At the meeting, however, officials reached no understanding.
South Korea's Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon (L) shakes hands with acting US ambassador to Seoul Marc Knapper in Seoul on Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance) (Yonhap)
South Korea trade surplus with the US reached $27 billion in 2016, more than doubling from 2011 on the back of the Seoul-Washington free trade pact.
Kim also explained the economic policies and key goals of the new Moon Jae-in government and stressed that the incumbent government is making constant efforts to establish a business environment favorable to foreign investors. (Yonhap)