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    FILE - In this Tuesday, March 14, 2017, file photo, United States Trade Representative-nominee Robert Lighthizer, foreground, looks at documents during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

    US Calls Meeting With South Korea to Negotiate Removing Trade Barriers

    © AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta
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    US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified South Korea on Wednesday that the United States wants to begin renegotiating its trade deal with Seoul, according to his office.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified South Korea on Wednesday that the United States wants to begin renegotiating its trade deal with Seoul, his office said in a statement.

    "United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today, as directed by President [Donald] Trump, formally notified the Republic of Korea that the United States is calling a special Joint Committee meeting under the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to start the process of negotiating to remove barriers to US trade and consider needed amendments to the agreement," the Office of the United States Trade Representative said.

    President Donald Trump has stated he wants to reduce the US trade deficit with South Korea. From 2011 to 2016, the US trade deficit with South Korea more than doubled, rising from $13.2 billion to $27.6 billion.

    Lighthizer called for the Joint Committee meeting to be held in Washington, DC next month, on a date to be agreed upon by the parties, the statement said.

    The Joint Committee is co-chaired by the US Trade Representative and South Korea's Minister of Trade.

    US exports to South Korea have fallen 2.7 percent from $43.5 billion in 2011 to $42.3 billion last year.


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