The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea has said the trade deal between the US and South Korea has had a positive impact on both nations' economies. It added that abandoning it would be severely damaging.
The biggest foreign business group in South Korea said Tuesday it supported a trade deal between Seoul and Washington that US President Donald Trump had threatened to abandon.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) said they did not agree with Trump, who had called the five-year old KORUS free trade deal "a horrible deal and a job killer," adding that he would discuss the possible withdrawal from the agreement with his aides this week.
AMCHAM officials pointed to growing tensions following North Korea's sixth nuclear test and a series of missile launches, indicating that a pullout from KORUS could ruin the decades-old alliance between Seoul and Washington.
They warned that withdrawing from the pact would have "a damaging effect on the economy" and lead to a deterioration of bilateral ties.
AMCHAM argues the free trade deal had had a positive impact on both economies and most of the group's members had seen "noteworthy benefits."
"Now is the time to further solidify the US-Korea alliance," it added.
Trump's push to revise KORUS is part of his wider drive to cut his nation's trade deficit with South Korea. The US deficit has more than doubled since the pact took effect in 2012, from $13.2 billion (11.1 billion euros) in 2011 to $27.6 billion last year, according to official US data.
AMCHAM made a point of mentioning, though, that US exports rose more than 20 percent in the first half of this year, saying it appeared that the trade deficit was beginning to decline.
hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)