SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s finance minister said on Sunday the government was already working on downsizing its trade surplus with the United States, a reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments Thursday that Washington will renegotiate or scrap the free trade pact the two countries have.
Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho added in televised comments he did not expect the free trade agreement will be terminated. It has been in effect since 2012.
“If one party requests for the trade deal to be terminated, it can be ended six months following the request. But we don’t feel that will happen yet,” said Yoo.
“We feel that there will be talks in any form to renegotiate the terms and we are preparing for them.”
Yoo reiterated his previous comments that Seoul has not yet received formal requests for talks to renegotiate the free trade deal from Washington yet. Trump’s threat to terminate the trade pact in a Reuters interview sent South Korea’s currency <KRW=> and shares <.KS11> down on Friday.
(Reporting by Christine Kim and Se Young Lee; Editing by)