For U.S., FTA gambit not paying off

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For U.S., FTA gambit not paying off

The United States has seen a surging trade deficit since the free trade agreement between the two countries took effect in March.

The U.S. posted a $1.8 billion dollar deficit on its trade with Korea in April, triple the $0.6 billion posted last month.

U.S. exports dropped $37 billion, down 12 percent from March, while its imports jumped 14.6 percent to $5.5 billion.

Although experts insist it is too early to assess the impact of the FTA, the trade balance in April was seen as the first litmus test of how the trade deal will pan out for both sides.

Both countries released slightly different trade numbers as they calculate them based on different data.

“While we include exports made at the end of each month, the U.S. counts those as part of the following month,” said Lee Un-ho, a director at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. “The U.S. also considers products made in Korea but shipped from elsewhere as being imported directly from Korea.”

According to the Knowledge Ministry, Korea’s trade surplus with the U.S. stood at $1.37 billion in April and $1.95 billion in March.

By Cho Min-geun[summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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