Trump Says He May Delay South Korea Trade Deal Until North Korea Is Resolved

Gold Silver Reports (GSR) – Trump Says He May Delay South Korea Trade Deal Until North Korea Is Resolved —  “I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea,” Trump said Thursday during a speech in Richfield, Ohio. “You know why? Because it’s a very strong card and I want to make sure everyone is treated fairly and we’re moving along very nicely with North Korea.”

President Donald Trump said he may delay a revamped trade deal the U.S. reached with South Korea this week until after the nuclear confrontation with North Korea is resolved.

The new Korus agreement was reached as Trump has been planning to meet with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, later this spring. The president will need the support of the Seoul government in negotiations to get Kim to abandon his nuclear ambitions.

Trump’s statement on a delay took some White House officials by surprise, and the press office didn’t immediately respond to requests to clarify his intentions. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office also had no immediate comment.

Officials in South Korea were confused by Trump’s remarks.

“We’re trying to grasp the genuine intent behind President Trump’s remarks,” South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Paik Un-gyu said Friday in Seoul. “We regard the renegotiation of the free-trade agreement as having already been completed smoothly.”

Moments before Trump suggested he would delay the renegotiated agreement, he hailed it as “a wonderful deal” and criticized the existing trade agreement with South Korea as “a horror show.”

‘Political Gesture’

“Trump’s remarks were a political gesture to show he is in control of both the North and South Korean issues, rather than a sign of dissatisfaction of the Korus negotiation,” said Je Hyun-jung, a deputy general manager at the Korea International Trade Association. “Trump can’t sign off on the deal now anyway as it takes some time for the two countries to settle details of Korus, at least a month or two,” she said.

The renegotiated trade deal, announced this week, doubled to 50,000 the number of cars each U.S. automaker can sell in South Korea without meeting local safety standards. But in a briefing in South Korea, the country’s trade minister, Kim Hyun-chong, downplayed the significance of the concession, noting that no American company sells much more than 10,000 cars a year there and suggesting the current 25,000 ceiling isn’t an obstacle.

Under the terms of the new deal, the U.S. also will extend a 25 percent tariff on pickup-truck imports until 2041. The tariff was set to expire in 2021 under the existing trade agreement, which came into force in 2012.

Meanwhile, South Korea agreed to limit its steel exports to the U.S. to about 2.7 million tons of year, in exchange for relief from the 25 percent tariff Trump announced earlier this month.

South Korea also agreed to eliminate non-tariff barriers such as certain environmental testing requirements and recognize U.S. standards on auto parts, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. – Neal Bhai Reports (NBR)

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Neal Bhai has been involved in the Bullion and Metals markets since 1998 – he has experience in many areas of the market from researching to trading and has worked in Delhi, India. Mobile No. - 9899900589 and 9582247600

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