South Korea's trade minister pressed on Thursday the importance of trade between South Korea and the United States a day after Donald Trump was elected president, and whose policies have fed fears of a surge in global trade protectionism.
"To increase trade and the creation of high quality jobs, bilateral investment must be increased," said in prepared remarks for a meeting with U.S. officials and businessmen in Seoul.
Joo said he hoped economic cooperation between South Korea and the U.S. would continue, citing the benefits of the free trade agreement (FTA) that took effect in 2012.
Trade between South Korea and the U.S. has grown since then while global trade has fallen, and the trade pact has created tens of thousands of high-quality jobs in the U.S, the minister said.
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Trump has expressed his disdain for trade deals while campaigning for the presidency, during which time he called the FTA a "destroyer" of U.S. jobs.
Policymakers in Seoul are worried over possible renegotiations of the deal, as South Korean exports have not yet embarked on a firm recovery after falling for most of the past two years.