Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-Mass) released the following statement about the U.S.-Korea trade agreement following reports that the President was considering withdrawing from this critical pact.
“North Korea’s latest nuclear test underscores yet again the vital importance of the strong alliance between the United States and South Korea. The U.S.-South Korea agreement (KORUS), negotiated under two presidents and approved by Congress, is a central element of that alliance. Just as important, South Korea is a significant economic partner, our seventh largest export market, and a vital customer for U.S. manufacturers, services providers, farmers, and ranchers.
“Our trade relationship can be enhanced and, because KORUS’s operation has presented frustrations for some important U.S. industries and stakeholders, we must press South Korea to improve its implementation and compliance. To be effective and constructive, however, we must not withdraw from the agreement while we do so. We welcome bilateral discussions to strengthen the economic ties between South Korea and the United States, and we reiterate the importance of transparency and close consultation by the administration with Congress and American businesses and workers.”