Over the course of his two-day visit to Korea, President Donald Trump did not openly criticize the South Korea-U.S. FTA as some observers had feared.
He only made a handful of benign, passing remarks on the issue of trade far removed from his rhetoric from earlier this year, where he threatened to terminate the deal.
Following his summit talks with President Moon Jae-in, Trump said the two leaders agreed to improve their trade relations on the principle of fairness and reciprocity.
Perhaps positive signs, as Seoul and Washington prepare to start the renegotiation process but both sides are still eager to take the upper hand.
The U.S. is said to be seeking a two.five percent tariff rate on Korean auto imports as well as additional duties on Korean steel products as well.
According to local government think tanks, Korea's agriculture industry may be the one sector that is most vulnerable to potential changes.
This finding was announced by a trio of government research bodies led by the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, which are set to release a joint report on their study on Friday.
Seoul could seek to relieve itself from U.S. pressure on these fronts by expanding its acquisition of American weaponry.
Korea was the eighth-largest importer of U.S. defense products last year, importing some 500 million dollars worth of armaments.
FTA re-negotiations had been initially forecast to begin sometime next year, but if all goes according to plan some experts now say the process could begin as early as December.
Yu Joonhee, Arirang News.