While the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at an event put on by the Atlantic Council that the US is not pulling out of the region. “We are not withdrawing from Asia,” Ross stated. “To the contrary, the new Asia-Pacific strategy is more encompassing than even the TPP would have been. Our goal is a rules-based economic order with fair and equal market access.”
That involves bilateral trade deals, though none have been initiated as of yet. And on the negotiations with South Korea on the free trade deal with the US, Ross pledged there will be a “permanent” fix for the trade imbalances there. “Our automotive imports from Korea are almost nine times our exports of autos to them,” Ross noted. “As remarkable as it may sound, we export to Korea more dollars’ worth of corn and beef combined, than we do cars.” He called on South Korea to further take down trade barriers on US auto exports and source more materials from the US.