From the Wall Street Journal:
Just over one year on from the implementation of the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, American companies see plenty of opportunities for export growth in South Korea, U.S. Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez said.More than the trade deficit itself, I'd like to know how much trade has increased. While parity is a nice benchmark, if both sides are selling hella more stuff, I'm happy.
In Seoul as part of a trade mission with U.S. companies and for meetings with South Korean government officials, Mr. Sanchez said the benefits of the FTA are being seen but it would take a few more years for the full impact to come through.
“There’s been nearly a 50% increase in U.S. auto sales here (since the FTA started in March 2012), orange juice is up 160%. I could name probably another four or five sectors that are doing well,” he said in an interview.
“But I think over the long haul is when we can really do a true measure, over 3 to 5 years.”
U.S. exports to South Korea of items covered by the FTA rose 4.1% in the first 12 months after the deal took effect on March 15, but critics have pointed to a widening U.S. trade deficit with South Korea. Some industry groups, including auto makers, have complained about other barriers to full implementation of the agreement.
Mr. Sanchez said there was a mutual understanding with Seoul to work to resolve non-tariff barriers such as burdensome regulations.