S. Korea to Expand Imports From Us

South Korea said Thursday that it will consider importing more U.S. products this year as part of its efforts to adjust its trade schemes to new trade policies by the Donald Trump administration.

The government unveiled the 2017 overseas economic policy plans at a minister-level meeting in Seoul chaired by Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho, focusing on increasing policy resilience against rising uncertainties and trade protectionism.

"This year, we face the so-called G-2 risks -- the United States and China, the two world superpowers," said Jin Seoung-ho from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. "This year's plans are aimed at managing external risks from the United States and China and expanding economic cooperation."

In his inauguration speech, new U.S. President Donald Trump stressed his "America First" doctrine again, saying that his every decision on trade, taxes and foreign affairs will be made to benefit Americans.

He also signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from a massive Asia-Pacific free trade deal in line with his constant remarks against free trade.

Many fear that the new U.S. president will take similar actions with many free trade agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (KORUS FTA), which took effect in 2012.

He has denounced the Seoul-Washington FTA as a job destroyer, hinting that he would seek to revise the terms.

Asia's fourth-largest economy posted $23.3 billion in trade surplus with the U.S. last year, accounting for 26 percent of the country's total trade surplus.

The Seoul government has been seeking various ways to reduce the country's massive current surplus with the United States, which has blamed South Korea for maintaining its currency weaker than the U.S. dollar.

Starting from 2017, the finance ministry said it will import U.S. shale gas in earnest, with the first...

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