The White House has assured key lawmakers that its threat to begin withdrawing from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement has — for now — been taken off the table, sources told Inside U.S. Trade.
[ Jenny leonard and Isabelle Hoagland | September 6, 2017 | Inside US Trade]
According to these sources, the plan to terminate the agreement had been discussed with several Capitol Hill offices including that of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who was one of the lawmakers informed that the administration had decided not to withdraw.
But the business community has been asked by some inside the White House to keep up the pressure against withdrawal because, as one source put it, “POTUS is so unpredictable.”
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters on the sidelines of the second NAFTA round in Mexico City on Tuesday that he was looking for amendments to KORUS and was hopeful it could be modified to address issues the U.S. has complained about since the deal entered into force.
Asked whether he would support a withdrawal, Lighthizer said “We have a negotiation where we would like some amendments to the Korean agreement,” but declined to offer any details.