How has the U.S. free trade agreement with South Korea worked over the past year?
We're reaching the one-year anniversary of the implementation of a U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. So how do things look?
According to an analysis by the United Steelworkers (USW), U.S. car sales to South Korea increased by a mere 942 vehicles-- from 4,184 to 5,126. Meanwhile South Korean companies sold more than 1.26 million cars in the U.S. in 2012 alone.
Imports of passenger vehicles from South Korea totaled $10.9 billion in 2012, up from $9 billion the year before-– a $1.9 billion increase, while U.S. exports increased a tiny $180 million to $546 million.
Overall, the total U.S. trade deficit with South Korea grew faster during the first nine months that the FTA was in place -- than during the entire year.
Bottom Line: There must be benefits to open trade. Unfortunately, it looks like the U.S. has gotten the short end of the stick. Issues like currency manipulation must be addressed.
It’s hard enough to open closed markets like those of South Korea and Japan. But allowing countries to manipulate currency makes it even harder.
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