US President Donald Trump has signed the revamped fair trade agreement with the Republic of Korea after close to a year’s worth of negotiations.

The two parties agreed on changes to KORUS earlier this month

Since KORUS went into effect in 2012, the US trade deficit in goods with Korea increased by over 73% to US$22.9bn (2017), while the overall deficit increased 70% to $10.7bn. The move – that aims to rebalance trade between the countries, according to the office of the USTR – will strengthen their national security relationship.

Much of the new agreement centres on the automobile industry. However, under the new terms, Korea has committed to addressing “long-standing concerns with onerous and costly verifications procedures” through agreement on principles for conducting verification of origin of exports under KORUS and establish a working group to monitor and address future issues that arise – a move that will no doubt benefit all industries including apparel.

Speaking at the signing, President Trump said: “The new U.-Korea agreement includes significant improvements to reduce our trade deficit and to expand opportunities to export American products to South Korea. In other words, we are now going to start sending products to South Korea”.

President Moon Jae-in added the changes to the existing agreement would mean “companies from both countries will now be able to do business under more stable conditions”.

“If our two countries could live up to the spirit embodied in the revised ROK-US Free Trade Agreement, I believe that we will be able to expand mutual trade and investment, create new jobs, and usher in a better future. I hope the revision of the ROK-U.S. FTA will also contribute towards solidifying our cooperation in other fields,” he adds.