Threatening to withdraw from the US Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS) should not be taken lightly.
South Korea is an important U.S. trading partner, providing parts and services to American manufacturers and affordable quality products to US consumers. The potential impact of withdrawing from KORUS would be noticeable, especially when it comes to consumer electronics, transportation equipment and chemicals where South Korea ranks fifth, sixth and ninth, respectively, in terms of U.S. imports from individual countries. While some of these products are sold straight to consumers (TVs, cars, smart phones, etc.), other items are purchased by manufacturers to produce goods in the U.S. For instance, chemicals are used by U.S. manufacturers to create anything from packaging to medicines.
Withdrawing from the agreement would increase prices for those goods in the U.S., and there would be no meaningful impact on the trade deficit.