U.S., South Korea to hold special session of KORUS FTA next week

Updated 2017-08-18 15:05:41 Xinhua

The United States and South Korea will hold a special session of the Joint Committee under the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) next week, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer announced on Thursday.

"The special session will be held in Seoul, South Korea, on August 22, 2017," the USTR's Office said in a statement, adding Lighthizer and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong will open the meeting via a video conference, followed by additional senior-level discussions between U.S. and South Korean officials in Seoul.

The meeting was requested by Lighthizer in a letter to former South Korean Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan on July 12, according to the USTR's Office.

In the letter, Lighthizer requested the meeting to consider matters affecting the operation of the KORUS FTA, including possible amendments and modifications to address the significant trade imbalance.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that the KORUS FTA has benefited both countries and his administration has no reason to hold back in talks with Washington over amendments to the deal.

"The negotiations will be a long process, and we also need ratification and approval at the National Assembly. It is not desirable to fuss over the U.S. demand for a renegotiation," he said.

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