Trump May ‘Hold Up’ South Korea Trade Deal Pending North Korea Deal Reached

Intends to use trade deal as 'leverage' in talks

Speaking to an audience at a rally in Ohio, President Trump has indicated that he will hold up the finalization of a recently negotiated trade deal with South Korea. He says he wants to hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea.

The exact reasoning behind this isn’t totally clear. Trump suggested that the trade deal with South Korea is a “strong card,” suggesting he intends to use it as leverage in the North Korea talks. Yet the trade deal has nothing to do with North Korea, so why they’d care is unclear.

Trump did appear optimistic about the North Korea talks, however, saying things are “moving along very nicely with North Korea.” He has recently said he believes there is a good chance of a peace and denuclearization deal.

Announced earlier this week, Trump said that the trade deal with South Korea marked “important progress” in the trade relations between the two nations. It lifts limits on US car sales to South Korea, while restricting the amount of steel South Korea can sell to the US.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.