Trump Will Have ‘Frank’ Discussion With Korean President About Trade Imbalance

REUTERS/Ahn Young-joon/Pool

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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WASHINGTON — The trade imbalance between South Korea and the U.S. has caught President Trump’s “eye” and he will be having a “friendly and frank” discussion about it with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during his Thursday visit, a senior White House official told reporters.

The president told The Washington Post in April that the U.S. might terminate its trade agreement with South Korea as it has left the U.S. “destroyed.” The U.S. had a $27.7 billion trade deficit with South Korea in 2016, according to government statistics.

A senior White House official told reporters Wednesday that this trade imbalance has “caught the president’s eye.” He said, “trade is something that needs to be discussed frankly with South Korea,” and added that “aspects of the trade relationship aren’t in balance.”

One of these aspects he mentioned were auto sales and the amount of Chinese steel that is imported into the U.S. through South Korea. Trade was a key aspect of Trump’s agenda in his run for the presidency, as he hammered trade policies for draining America of jobs.

His administration has moved to enact this policy and has already formally announced its intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.