The U.S.-South Korea alliance is not only based on security, but on the shared values of freedom, free markets, and a strong economic partnership, said Vice President Mike Pence.
Speaking to American and South Korean business people, investors, and owners during his recent trip to Asia, Mr. Pence noted that South Korea is now the United States’ sixth largest trading partner.
“America’s high quality products and services have made tremendous impact on South Korea’s way of life,” he said. “And South Korea’s firms have made and continue to make significant contributions and investments in the American economy.”
Last month marked the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Since KORUS went into effect, two-way trade in goods and services has grown by nearly $20 billion. The United States' goods and services exports have increased by more than 6 percent. Service exports have risen by nearly 30 percent to a record high of $21.6 billion. And today South Korea is one of the fastest growing sources of foreign direct investment in the United States.
“But despite the strong economic ties between the United States and South Korea,” the “trade relationship is falling short,” said Vice President Pence. “Most concerning is the fact that the United States' trade deficit with South Korea has more than doubled since KORUS came into effect.”
American businesses face too many barriers to entry, which tilts the playing field against American workers and American growth. President Trump has made it clear that the United States will pursue trade that is both free and fair, and that will be true of all trade relationships including KORUS, said Vice President Pence.
The United States is reviewing all of its trade agreements across the world to ensure that they benefit the U.S. economy as much as they benefit its trading partners. The goal is to ensure KORUS promotes a level playing field for both American and Korean businesses, and will maximize jobs and growth for the people of the United States and the people of South Korea.
“A stronger American economy,” said Vice President Pence, “means a stronger economy for South Korea, and for all of our trading partners.”