The Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, which went into effect in March of this year, is having a positive effect on the Korean economy by boosting exports to the U.S. in the midst of a global slump.
According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Korea achieved a US$7.4 billion trade surplus with the U.S. on a customs-clearance basis in the six months after the Korea-U.S. FTA went into effect in March, up 57 percent on-year.
This stems from a 4.2 percent rise in Korea's exports to the U.S., while imports from the U.S. shrank 6.5 percent. Since Korea's overall exports dropped 3.9 percent, bringing the benefits of the Korea-U.S. FTA into focus.
The growth was driven by exports of products such as automotive parts and petrochemicals, which benefited from lowered tariffs and rose 13.9 percent.
But the positive effects for Korea are leading to complaints in the U.S. The U.S. congressional Joint Economic Committee said in a report late last month that Washington's trade deficit with Korea widened after the FTA went into effect.