At the conclusion of today's closed-door meeting, trade minister Kim will hold a press conference at the Seoul Government Complex, 5:30 p.m. Korea time, to brief reporters on the progress of talks, at the end of day one. Kim said Seoul will be waiting for Washington's response to its proposal for the joint study.
In June, Trump told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that USA automakers a should have a "fair shake" for better auto sales.
Representatives from Korea and the United States discuss the two countries' free trade agreement on Tuesday at the Lotte Hotel in central Seoul.
"Both sides have reached no agreement", Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong said after the daylong talks ended in Seoul Tuesday. The session was attended by representatives of the Trade Ministry, as well as USTR Chief of Staff Jamieson Greer and Michael Beeman, assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan, Korea and APEC. Kim said previous year that the deal was a "slam dunk-shot" for the US.
U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters in April that the agreement known as KORUS was a "horrible deal" and pledged to renegotiate or terminate the accord.
Korean researchers who monitor trade with the USA say Washington may want to make tweaks to Korus FTA, rather than conducting a deep negotiation, given the conflicting interests of individual industries.
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The trade issue has emerged just as the US and South Korea need each other's support to fight together against North Korea's nuclear threat. The deal also helps the USA on a strategic level as China's economic and political influence grows in the region. It has begun an effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.
South Korea is the US' seventh-largest trading partner, while the US is South Korea's second-biggest partner after China.
Last month, Washington issued a request to convene a special session of the Joint Committee under the KORUS to negotiate amendments to the trade pact. It maintains that the current deal is mutually beneficial.
The Trump administration has been seeking to revise the FTA that was inked under the former President, Barrack Obama, which Trump labelled as a "job killer".
"The important focus of negotiations will be regulation of automobiles and steel, in which the US trade deficit has worsened [since the FTA went into effect]", said Kim Su-jin, a senior researcher at Woori Financial Research Institute.