The Trump Administration’s top trade advisers are entirely wrong about what happened when with respect to trade between the U.S. and South Korea. KORUS had no effect at all on U.S. imports of auto, chips, motors or pumps between 2009 and 2015, because the U.S. auto tariff was unchanged until 2016 (when overall U.S. imports fell) and most other industrial products were already tariff-free before KORUS.
The Korea-U.S. trade deficit in goods did not rise from 2011 to 2015 (or fall in 2016) because of U.S. auto tariff cuts in 2016, but because the U.S. economy strengthened after 2010 and the Korean economy weakened after 2014.
– by Alan Reynolds in Trump Advisers Are All Wrong about South Korea Trade Deal| Cato @ Liberty
This piece is simple and straight-forward.