South Korea's finance minister held a meeting with the representative of US businesses on Wednesday to discuss ways to expand understanding on economy and trade between the two countries.
At the meeting with James Kim, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Yoo Il-ho said it is necessary to establish a favorable economic and trade partnership under the new Donald Trump administration, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
South Korea's Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho (left) talks with James Kim, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, in Seoul on March 8, 2017. (Ministry of Strategy and Finance)
The finance minister stressed that AMCHAM can play a role in building a steady relationship between Seoul and Washington by delivering the South Korean government's policies and stances on key issues.
Many fear that the US president will renegotiate free trade agreements that the world's largest economy now has, including the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Korea-US FTA, which took effect in 2012. Trump has denounced the Seoul-Washington FTA as a job destroyer, hinting that he would seek to revise the terms.
Asia's fourth-largest economy posted a $23.3 billion trade surplus with the United States last year. This is equal to 26 percent of the country's total trade surplus.
The massive surplus has been under fire from the US government, which could designate South Korea as a currency manipulator.
South Korea's top economic policymaker said the Korea-US FTA has brought about an expansion in trade, service and investment between the two countries, citing that bilateral trade in goods rose 8.8 percent in 2016 from five years ago.
James Kim also said he will join hands in bridging the gap between the two countries and bolstering economic cooperation, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)