Study proves Trump wrong about Korea FTA

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Study proves Trump wrong about Korea FTA

A study by a U.S. federal agency released on Wednesday showed that there were more benefits to the United States in the free trade pact with Korea made four years ago.

The study was released by the U.S. International Trade Commission a day after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed that the bilateral trade deal was destroying the lives of Americans by stripping them of jobs.

“This wave of globalization has wiped out our middle class,” Trump said. “We allowed foreign countries to subsidize their goods, devalue their currencies, violate their agreements and cheat in every way imaginable. Trillions of our dollars and millions of our jobs flowed overseas as a result.

“It was also Hillary Clinton as secretary of state who shoved us into a job-killing deal with South Korea in 2012,” Trump added. “This deal doubled our trade deficit with South Korea and destroyed nearly 100,000 American jobs.”

Trump also claimed that Clinton “unleashed a trade war” against American workers when she supported trade deals with China and Korea, and that it was time for the United States to declare its economic “independence,” citing Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union.

The report, however, said the trade deals have done more good than harm and have raised the country’s economic growth.

In 2012, the bilateral and regional trade pacts actually helped expand aggregate U.S. trade by roughly 3 percent, which also contributed to raising U.S. economic growth and employments, according to the report.

Additionally, the trade deals have contributed to increasing bilateral trade with partner countries by 26.3 percent.

The free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea has increased American exports by $4.8 billion to $5.3 billion.

The report was an analysis on the economic effects of 13 FTAs that the U.S. has made with other countries. The export increase from the FTA with Korea is the second largest after Nafta, which increased U.S. trade between $24.2 billion and $126 billion.

The report noted that the bilateral trade agreement also helped improve the American merchandise trade balance by roughly $15.8 billion.

It estimated that last year the merchandise trade deficit with Korea was $28.3 billion.

But if it weren’t for the free trade deal, that deficit could have nearly doubled to $44 billion.


BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]



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