Although the deal did result in job losses, it also created 87,000 new American jobs that were supported by exports to South Korea, a study shows.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) both in his campaign and in office going as far as estimating over 250,000 jobs were given to South Korea in October 2018, a figure which is imprecise and untrue.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden did support the deal for employment and stability purposes between the two countries, but Trump renegotiated it claiming it was a "job-killing deal". Trump's statement is accurate in as far as the deal led to the loss of 95,000 American jobs between 2011 and 2015 owing to growing goods trade deficits with Korea, according to Economic Policy Institute.
However, opponents of KORUS took the jobs to export ratio and misapplied it to the U.S. trade deficit, according to The Diplomat. Citing a U.S. Commerce Department issued study, the report claims that an estimated number of 87,000 new U.S. jobs were supported by exports to Korea from 2009 until 2015.
Ratified by the U.S. under former President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Biden in October 2011, KORUS FTA removed 95 percent of all tariffs between Korea and the U.S. from 2012 to 2017, according to the Korean International Trade Association. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), bilateral trade increased by 21 percent from 2011 to 2017. U.S. imports increased by 25 percent for goods and 12 percent for services, while exports increased by 9 percent for goods and by 45 percent for services.