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.
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 reached a record $42.7 billion in FY 2011.