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Trade ministers of S. Korea, US to meet in Washington next week

South Korea's trade minister will meet with his US counterpart next week to discuss pending issues between the two countries, the ministry here said Friday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan will visit Washington on March 5-8 and have talks with new US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and other officials.
 

South Korea's Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan (Yonhap)
South Korea's Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan (Yonhap)

Ross was confirmed by the Senate on Monday and took the helm of the Department of Commerce the following day.

"The minister's meetings in the US are aimed at establishing conversation channels with new US trade officials, sharing reciprocal outcomes of the Seoul-Washington free trade agreement and seeking ways to bolster bilateral cooperation," Seoul's trade ministry said in a release.

South Korea and the United States implemented the FTA in 2012, but there have been recent concerns here that the US government under President Donald Trump may take what some call protectionist measures, under his slogan, "America First."

South Korea is the sixth-largest trading partner with the US, with total trade volume reaching $112.2 billion in 2016. The bilateral trade nearly doubled over the last decade. (Yonhap)

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