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Agricultural exports to Korea to become duty-free

Apr '07
The undersigned members of the U.S.-Korea FTA Business Coalition write to begin the process of consultation with the Congress on the recently completed U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The members of the Coalition, a broad-based and cross-sectoral group of American companies, business organizations, and trade associations, worked with the Congress and U.S. negotiators to achieve the successful conclusion of the negotiations.

Korea is a very substantial market for the United States, with U.S. goods exports to Korea totaling $32.5 billion in 2006 and U.S. cross-border services exports to Korea reaching $10.2 billion in 2005.

The United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Korea, and it is Korea's second-largest market. While we look forward to reviewing the text of the agreement once it becomes available, we have been briefed on its substance and believe that the agreement achieves most of the business community's key objectives.

The U.S.-Korea FTA will greatly expand market access in Korea for U.S. farmers, manufacturers, service providers, and financial services firms. Under the FTA, more than half of current U.S. agricultural exports to Korea—with a value of $1.6 billion—will become duty-free immediately. Almost 95 percent of all bilateral trade in consumer and industrial products will become duty-free within three years under the agreement, and virtually all remaining tariffs on consumer and industrial goods will be eliminated in ten years.

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