On December 6, 2012, the California Chamber of Commerce received the prestigious Presidential Citation from the Government of the Republic of Korea for promoting trade and trade relations between the United States and Korea, and in particular for its contribution to the adoption of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). CalChamber was a former supporter of the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, the culmination of a five-year process ranging from adoption and implementation to adoption and implementation. On March 16, 2018, the third round of Korea-U.S. Free Trade negotiations began.  The discussions ended later on March 27, when an agreement in principle was reached between the Trump administration and the South Korean administration. The conditions included an increase in annual exports of U.S. cars from 25,000 vehicles to 50,000, which are only needed to comply with U.S. safety rules in place of South Korean regulations. A cap is also introduced for steel exports from South Korea to the United States, although South Korea remains exempt from the 25 percent steel tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on most other nations.  On September 24, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed the new agreement at the Lotte Palace Hotel in New York. The renegotiation of KORUS is a useful example of Trump`s trade agreements in practice. As we will see below, the renegotiations have made only minor changes to the agreement and could be adopted in such a way that the reality of Trump`s trade policy does not always correspond to rhetoric.
However, the government`s concerns about trade with Korea have always been less acute than their concerns about trade with other trading partners, so the conclusion of the korus talks, with minor changes, can only reflect the government`s focus on other areas of trade policy and not on its overall approach to trade policy. His Excellency Duk-so Han, former Prime Minister and Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States, played an important role in promoting the agreement between the United States and Korea. Han met several times with CalChamber, as well as the Korean consuls general in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The third round of discussions, which took place in March, coincided with the Trump administration`s announcement of new steel tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Korea negotiated a tariff exemption in exchange for approval of the limitation of steel exports to the United States. The two sides also discussed the continued opening of the Korean market to U.S. pharmaceuticals. The two governments appeared to take a more diplomatic approach to the talks to avoid complications at the upcoming korea-U.S.-North Korea summit.14 On March 28, Korea and the United States issued a joint statement announcing that they had “reached an agreement in principle on the terms and conditions of the changes and amendments to the free trade agreement between the United States and the Republic of Korea.” 15 Both sides signed the renegotiated trade agreement on September 24, 2018.16 9 Steve Holland, “Trump suggests a withdrawal from the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea,” Reuters, September 2, 2017. At this time, North Korea announced a successful test of a nuclear weapon that could be loaded onto a long-range missile, which could have influenced the views of the United States and South Korea on trade issues. “North Korea Nuclear Test: Hydrogen Bomb `Missile`Ready,” British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News, 3 September 2017.