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South Korea's exports to the United States fared relatively well in the first seven months of the year despite the global economic downturn, helped by increased shipments of tariff-lowered items such as autos, a trade association said Thursday.
Exports to the world's largest economy reached US$34.89 billion in the January-July period, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
South Korea's outbound shipment to the U.S. also gained 6.1 percent on-year in July alone to reach $5.42 billion, the data showed.
Exports of autos and auto parts surged 32.2 percent on-year in the first seven months of the year, with those of machinery and textile goods soaring 16.8 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively, over the cited period, the data showed.
The South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement took effect in March this year. A similar deal with the European Union also went into effect in July last year.
The KITA said free trade deals with major economies are helping prevent the country's exports from dropping amid the global economic slump.