22:56 GMT +322 October 2019
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    S Korean Trade Agency Partners With US Lobbying Firm to Deal With Trump

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    Asia & Pacific
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    South Korea's largest business and trade organization, the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), has signed a three-month contract with a US lobbying firm to help handle trade issues with US government under President Donald Trump, KITA officials said Wednesday as cited by local media.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Under the contract, the lobbying firm, which has more than 2,000 lawyers in its Seoul office, will be tasked with gathering information for the trade organization on Washington's trade and tax policies, as well as congressional activities.

    "[We] recently inked a contract with the U.S. lobbying firm K&L Gate. It's a three-month contract," a KITA official was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

    The official also noted that an extension of the contract will be considered, pending "future conditions."

    Washington and Seoul maintain bilateral trade relations through the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), which went into force in 2012. However, during his presidential campaign, US President Donald Trump labeled the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement as a "job killing trade deal" and vowed that the nation will no longer participate in international trade deals that would not put "America first."

    True to his campaign promise, Trump signed an executive order on January 23, withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Whether or not Trump will follow suite with other deals like KORUS FTA, is not yet known.


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