Kim Hyun-chong, former chief negotiator for the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) under former Roh Moo-hyun administration, taking office as Korea’s chief trade representative with pending possibility of a revisit to the five-year bilateral trade deal with the U.S. vowed to be aggressive in trade negotiations and policy.
“There is no future in trade if we keep to a defensive position,” Kim said in his inauguration address on Friday.
He returns to the helm of trade negotiations after the role went back to the ministry of trade from the foreign ministry under President Moon Jae-in. The trade front has turned unfavorable for the export-reliant economy due to protectionist policy of U.S. President Donald Trump and economic retaliation of Beijing for Seoul’s installation of a powerful U.S. antimissile system.
The U.S. Trade Representative has formerly requested the two countries to form a committee to revisit terms that work unfavorably for U.S trade.
“We would be defeated if we navigate trade policy in existing predictable framework, whereas the global trade order has changed from the wave of protectionism and populism,” he said.
“Recycling old policies won’t work. The surprise war strategy of making sound in the east, and striking in the west will work better under today’s environment,” he said.
By Ko Jae-man
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