S. Korea’s trade surplus with U.S. down 6.8% on yr in Jan.-Oct.

South Korea’s trade surplus with the United States has decreased nearly 7 percent after the two countries revised their free trade agreement (FTA) this year upon the request of the U.S. concerning about widening trade deficit with Korea, but trade volume between the two has stayed strong overall.

According to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Korea International Trade Association (KITA) on Sunday, Korea’s trade surplus with the U.S. reached $10 billion in the first 10 months of this year, down 6.8 percent from a surplus of $10.7 billion in the same period last year.

The revised Korea-U.S. FTA went into effect on January 1 after Washington complained about its growing trade deficit with Seoul especially in the auto sector. As compared to the original deal that kicked off in 2012, the revised FTA allows the U.S. to double its vehicle exports to Korea based on its own safety standards and extend tariffs on imports of Korean pickup trucks to the U.S. to 2040 from 2021. Tweaks have also been made to the investor-state dispute settlement clause.

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