The Wall Street Journal: South Korea’s finance minister has high hopes for new trade deal with U.S.

SEOUL — South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon expressed optimism about signing a revised U.S. free-trade pact into law, though lawmakers in Seoul have threatened to block the deal if Washington imposes new tariffs on Korean autos and auto parts.

The first trade deal that the Trump administration successfully renegotiated in March is waiting to be signed by the U.S. and South Korean governments — likely next week. Still, it needs approval from each legislature before taking effect.

“When it comes to ratifying the Korea-U.S. free-trade agreement, I have an optimistic view,” Kim said in an interview with a small group of journalists in Seoul on Thursday, confirming “in-depth consultation” was still under way between the two countries over the issue.

Kim declined to elaborate on the continuing discussions which he cast in a positive way. Instead, he stressed the U.S. and South Korea have a record of closely cooperating with each other to settle various issues, geopolitical as well as economic, so far.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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