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U.S., South Korea Sign Updated Free Trade Agreement

The United States and South Korea signed on 24 September an updated bi-lateral free trade agreement that includes amendments and modifications to the existing deal as well as additional agreements and understandings to improve its implementation. President Trump said the updated KORUS agreement “includes significant improvements to reduce our trade deficit and to expand opportunities to export American products to South Korea.” South Korean President Moon Jae-in added that “companies from both countries will now be able to do business under more stable conditions.”

Each side will now take steps to bring the revised provisions into effect as soon as practicable. According to an American Shipper article, an administration official said some provisions of the agreement, including on customs and pharmaceuticals, “are not subject to further legal procedures and can be implemented immediately.” However, a Bloomberg article added that “South Korean lawmakers, who must sign off on the deal, have warned they won’t approve it if the United States imposes tariffs on Korean cars as part of Trump’s threat to protect domestic automakers from global imports.”

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