The USDA Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Seoul recently launched a Web page to showcase potential opportunities to be created by the soon-to-be-implemented U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS). KORUS will take effect on March 15, 2012.
The Foreign Agricultural Service recommends that U.S. agricultural exporters and those interested in expanding sales to international markets visit the page, called What U.S. Exporters Need to Know about the KORUS Agreement, to learn about the agreement, understand new tariff schedules, and gain valuable information about the fifth-largest market for U.S. farm products.
Information available on the Web page includes a list of South Korea’s top-imported commodities, a detailed view of the population, and analysis of the United States’ trade competitors. Exporters can also download the latest import statistics, which are updated monthly, to accurately evaluate market trends. ATO Seoul routinely updates reports to showcase market trends and changes and to notify exporters in advance of the competition.
Once KORUS is fully implemented, American agriculture will gain improved access to South Korea’s $1 trillion economy and 49 million consumers. KORUS benefits nearly every sector of U.S. agriculture—including beef, poultry, pork, wheat, corn, soybeans, cotton, and many other commodities. More than half of U.S. agricultural products will gain immediate, duty-free access to the South Korean market as soon as the agreement is implemented.
The new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama signed by President Obama in October will support tens of thousands of American jobs and open new opportunities for American businesses. When implemented, these three agreements will increase farm exports by an additional $2.3 billion—supporting nearly 20,000 American jobs and delivering higher incomes for farmers and ranchers, more opportunities for small businesses owners, and jobs for folks who package, ship, and market agricultural products.
U.S. agricultural products are booming in popularity worldwide. Farm exports in fiscal year 2011 reached a record high of $137.4 billion – exceeding the past record by $22.5 billion – and supported 1.15 million U.S. jobs. The United States agricultural trade surplus stands at a record $42.7 billion in FY 2011.