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The United States is to begin discussing changes to its free trade deal with South Korea to ensure the deal is "mutually beneficial" for both countries.
KORUS, which was signed five years ago, provides duty-free access for 95 percent of consumer and industrial goods. Virtually all remaining tariffs are to be eliminated within 10 years of the agreement's entry into force. In addition, some 64 percent of South Korea's agriculture imports from the US became immediately duty-free, with most of the remaining tariffs and quotas to be phased out over the first ten years.
In Seoul, US Vice President Mike Pence said that talks between the two nations will look to "level the playing field," to address the growing US trade deficit under the deal. Korea's trade surplus has more than doubled since the deal's entry into force, he said. "Our businesses continue to face too many barriers to entry, which tilts the playing field against American workers and American growth," he told local business leaders.
He said the US would look for changes to make it a mutually beneficial trade deal "as we reform KORUS in the days ahead."
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