0854 GMT April 03, 2020
According to the data released by the US Census Bureau, the world's largest economy posted a deficit of $20.6 billion in trade with South Korea last year, up from a deficit of $17.8 billion a year earlier, Yonhap reported.
The trade deficit with South Korea was United States' 14th largest among countries around the globe in 2019, according to Washington, although its ranking was one spot down from 2018.
The US exported $56.9 billion worth of goods to South Korea last year, up 0.7 percent from a year earlier, but the goods imported totaled $77.5 billion, an on-year increase of 4.4 percent, according to the data.
Experts said the US trade deficit with South Korea expanded last year after Seoul's shipments of its key export items, such as automobiles, electronics and petroleum products, increased sharply.
The data showed South Korea was the US' seventh largest goods export market in 2019. South Korea was the US' sixth largest supplier of goods imports last year.
Local pundits said the US' expanded trade deficit with Asia's fourth largest economy may not be all good for South Korea since the Donald Trump administration has been focusing on reducing trade deficits.
The US has been mulling whether to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported autos and parts for reasons of national security as defined in Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.
However, some experts said South Korea could be exempted from the US tariffs as it revised its free trade agreement with the US last year at Washington's request.