KORUS Agreement Announced – Details of Historic Trade Deal and Repositioning Between U.S. and South Korea…

JOINT STATEMENT – Today, Ambassador Lighthizer and Minister Kim are pleased to announce that the United States and the Republic of Korea have reached an agreement in principle on the general terms of amendments and modifications to the United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). The nations have also agreed on terms for a country exemption for the Republic of Korea from tariffs imposed on steel imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 9705, as amended.  The arrangement with respect to steel imports is expected to take effect on May 1, 2018.  (link)

Ever since the original 2012 US-Korea free trade agreement (KORUS) went into effect, the U.S. trade deficit in goods with Korea increased by over 73 percent from $13.2 billion to $22.9 billion (2017), while the overall deficit increased by 70 percent from $6.3 billion to $10.7 billion (2017).  President Trump committed his administration to changing this immediately and renegotiating a deal that benefited the United States.

“The improved KORUS agreement reflects the President’s leadership in delivering more reciprocal trade outcomes benefiting U.S. workers, exporters, and businesses. The United States and Korea have strengthened an important economic relationship by agreeing to substantial improvements to KORUS that will help rebalance our trade, reduce our trade deficit, and expand U.S. export opportunities.”  ~ U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer

Here’s the historic details:


As directed by the President and with authority provided under the terms of KORUS, the U.S. Trade Representative has worked to resolve issues through the Joint Committee process under the Agreement.

In July 2017, Ambassador Lighthizer initiated trade discussions with Korea, leading to special sessions of the KORUS Joint Committee in 2017 and further negotiations for KORUS amendments and modifications in 2018.

Once completed, the amendments and modifications to KORUS will undergo the United States’ and Korea’s respective domestic review procedures. For the United States, modifications to the U.S. tariff schedule will undergo consultation and layover procedures provided under the implementing act for the KORUS Agreement, which include a 60-day consultation period with Congress.


In these discussions, the United States achieved steps to improve the large trade deficit in industrial goods and to address KORUS implementation concerns that have hindered U.S. export growth.

◊ U.S. Truck Tariffs: Korea will extend the phase out of the 25% U.S. tariff on trucks until 2041, or a total of 30 years following the implementation of the KORUS FTA in 2012. (currently scheduled to phase out by 2021).

◊ Growing U.S. Auto Exports: Exports of U.S. motor vehicles to Korea will be improved through the following steps:

  • Greater Access for U.S. Exports: Korea will double the number of U.S. automobile exports, to 50,000 cars per manufacturer per year, that can meet U.S. safety standards (in lieu of Korean standards) and enter the Korean market without further modification.
  • Harmonization of Testing Requirements: U.S. gasoline engine vehicle exports will be able to show compliance with Korea’s emission standards using the same tests they conduct to show compliance with U.S. regulations, without additional or duplicative testing for the Korean market.
  • Recognition of U.S. Standards for Auto Parts: Korea will recognize U.S. standards for auto parts necessary to service U.S. vehicles, and reduce labeling burdens for parts.
  • Improvements to CAFE Standards: Korea will expand the amount of “eco-credits” available to help meet fuel economy and greenhouse gas requirements under the regulations currently in force, while also ensuring that fuel economy targets in future regulations will be set taking U.S. regulations into account and will continue to include more lenient targets for small volume manufacturers.

◊ Customs Improvement: Korea will address long-standing concerns with onerous and costly verification procedures through agreement on principles for conducting verification of origin of exports under KORUS and establish a working group to monitor and address future issues that arise.

◊ Pharmaceutical Reimbursements: Within 2018, Korea will amend its Premium Pricing Policy for Global Innovative Drugs to make it consistent with Korea’s commitments under KORUS to ensure non-discriminatory and fair treatment for U.S. pharmaceutical exports.


◊ The U.S. Department of the Treasury is leading discussions on currency with Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

◊ An agreement is being finalized on robust provisions to prohibit competitive devaluation and exchange rate manipulation in order to promote a level playing field for trade and investment. Strong commitments on transparency and accountability are included in the provisions.


  • The President’s action under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, is designed to protect U.S. national security given the massive and persistent global excess capacity for steel and aluminum and the threatened impairment of U.S. national security from imports of such products.
  • As the President’s proclamations state, the United States is willing to work with any country with which we have a security relationship to find alternative ways to address the threatened impairment of the national security caused by imports of steel and aluminum.
  • The United States has a strong and enduring security relationship with Korea.
  • U.S. negotiations with Korea have resulted in a satisfactory alternative for addressing U.S. national security concerns with respect to steel imports.
  • Korean imports of steel products into the United States will be subject to a product-specific quota equivalent to 70% of the average annual import volume of such products during the period of 2015-17. This will result in a significant reduction in Korean steel shipments to the United States.

(Link to USTR News Release)

This entry was posted in Donald Trump, Economy, President Trump, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, Union Activity - ALL, US dept of agriculture, US Treasury, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to KORUS Agreement Announced – Details of Historic Trade Deal and Repositioning Between U.S. and South Korea…

  1. Everywhereguy says:

    BOOM! ☄️💥

    Liked by 11 people

  2. Minnie says:

    Thavk you, President Trump!

    God Bless America 🇺🇸🙏🇺🇸

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Daniel Leone says:

    Make America Great Again. just today;

    *4th Qtr GDP up to 2.9%
    *North Korea will de nuke
    *South Korea agrees to sweeping trade policy that we win on

    Liked by 5 people

  4. allhail2 says:

    Memo regarding KORUS leaked.

    Dear Barry O,

    This is how a pen and a phone actually work.

    President Trump

    Liked by 13 people

  5. Minnie says:

    Sundance, you are cited, referenced and linked on “Rantingly” today.


    Liked by 4 people

  6. dd_sc says:

    A great deal for American and Korean workers….

    Mutual benfit, and jobs, jobs, jobs!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. fleporeblog says:

    One other major piece is that the South Koreans agreed to keep the 10% Aluminium Tariff. I remember back in September that the MSM was besides themselves that our President would demand revisions to KORUS while the situation with North Korea was getting out of hand. They felt so bad for the South Koreans that our President would be doing such a thing during these dangerous times for the people and government of South Korea.

    That is why our LION has brass balls the size of basketballs! There is no better time to negotiate a terrible deal than when a country is concerned about whether they will be around in 6 months. If you think for one minute that this deal could have been even better for us if it wasn’t for our President’s actions, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    He had them in a situation where this offer couldn’t be refused!


    Liked by 6 people

    • Q&A says:

      “There is no better time to negotiate a terrible deal than when a country is concerned about whether they will be around in 6 months.”

      The greatest protective military in the world – the US Military – is going to be even greater with the upgrade it will be getting from the spending bill just signed. This had to be a big selling point during negotiations. If you’re going to pay for security, as SK is, you want the best.

      The impact from the huge military spending bill will be paying trade dividends for a very long time. Negotiations with friendly countries who want our protection as well as bad actor countries who will be hesitant to press their world domination goals will make trade agreements in our favor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • fleporeblog says:

        Q&A absolutely great point that I didn’t even consider!


      • Massive Defense Equipment Sales deals will ALSO
        • Reduce the need for and costs of pre-positioning or deploying U.S. Equipment to defend foreign allies or fight foreign conflicts
        • Cover R&D and Fixed Costs for Defense Equipment Manufacturers
        • Enable our Defense Department to purchase Equipment at consequently lower costs
        • Reduce Trade Deficits with allied nations
        • Boost domestic manufacturing capacity
        • Increase revenue that gets repetitively recirculated in the American Economy for growth and prosperity


  8. Shark24 says:

    So the old joke when I got to Kunsan AB, ROK in 1972 was that the Korean workers would head out the gate every evening with a wheel barrel full of sand. The APs would inspect the sand and find nothing of interest and let them pass. Turns out they were stealing wheel barrels. This agreement will at least limit the number of stolen wheel barrels. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  9. dobbsfan says:


    Liked by 2 people

  10. FL_GUY says:

    President Trump, a man who turned a million dollar loan into a 10 Billion dollar company now turning his money making talents to bring prosperity back to We the People. And….. he’s working for free, costing himself money every day; yet for 20 hours every day, he is working to MAGA. I hope there is some way we can repay him for all he’s had to endure for us.

    Liked by 9 people

  11. Sean Supsky says:

    Glad we have a President that works for the benefit of the U.S. instead of against it.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. 4harrisonblog says:

    When you have a President that loves the United States, not a globalist, has an understanding of what is needed to help all in a fair trade agreements, this is the results. KAG, President Trump!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. goddessoftheclassroom says:

    Please forgive the OT, but this is the newest thread:
    “Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Wednesday he will review potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses by both the Justice Department and the FBI, following requests from Congress and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    The Office of the Inspector General released a statement Wednesday outlining the initiation of a review.

    “The OIG will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person,” the statement obtained by Fox News read. “As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source.”

    The OIG statement added that Horowitz will also “review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.”

    “If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review,” the statement read.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • fred5678 says:

      IG may not be able to question fired FBI creeps, but he has the evidence of what they did while there, and can hand it to the outside prosecutor sitting in the adjoining office, right?

      Won’t the tree-hugging democrats be overjoyed when the IG and the outside DoJ prosecutor save trees by sharing those 1,000,000 paper documents instead of making photocopies??

      Liked by 1 person

    • Deplorable_Infidel says:

      “If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review,” the statement read.”

      This is apparently in reference to other nefarious activities pursued by Andrew McCabe and others. Most of the focus is on the election, but he had a lot of practice before DJT came on the scene.


    • LafnH2O says:

      “Certain U.S. person” …

      There for a second I thought it might be that turncoat/traitor (aka Now a Russian spy) C. Page…
      Wait a minute….


  14. fred5678 says:


    More winning, please, And pass the popcorn.

    UNFREAKIN’ BELIEVEABLE (but won’t find much of a mention on you know who, of course!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. daughnworks247 says:

    We’re going to need live action doll figures for members of the Admin.

    Liked by 2 people

    • FL_GUY says:

      I want one with President Trump in modified, red, white and blue superman type outfit posed like George Reeves did in the TV show with his classic hairstyle and a big T on the chest. President Trump is, after all a Super Hero. President Trump certainly stands for Truth, Justice and the USA!

      Liked by 5 people

  16. daughnworks247 says:

    It’s hilarious trying to watch the pundits spin the DPRK news and SK trade deal as, somehow, bad.
    Terrific summary Sundance, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Curry Worsham says:

    Korea Enhancement Program

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pam says:

    We sure can’t say this presidency is dull. POTUS is using his business background and putting it into good use for the American people.


    Liked by 3 people

  19. trapper says:

    But … but … but … Stormy Daniels. Russia. Hahahaha.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Perot Conservative says:


    Liked by 1 person

  21. Tiana says:

    “Once completed, the amendments and modifications to KORUS will undergo the United States’ and Korea’s respective domestic review procedures. For the United States, modifications to the U.S. tariff schedule will undergo consultation and layover procedures provided under the implementing act for the KORUS Agreement, which include a 60-day consultation period with Congress.”

    I know that it only says “consultation period”… but I don’t like the sound of Congress having any say in it at all… Even if Congress only consults, it will drag this out to the last minute… slow-walk it…

    However, I believe in TEAM TRUMP… it is unbeatable… smart, decisive, persevering… MAGA


  22. The Devilbat says:

    What a difference it makes to have a successful businessman in the oval office instead of a radical communist. Who would ever have thought it? (sarcasm),.

    Liked by 1 person

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