News last update:7 Aug 2012

US, Korea FTA to benefit both countries

After more than three years at the negotiation table, the United States and South Korea reached an agreement in bi-lateral free trade talks.

The US-Korea Free Trade Agreement represents an ocean of opportunity for both parties involved, says the US Grains Council.
For the United States, the agreement will result in increased jobs, exports and benefits to the economy while Korean consumers will for the first time have more access to American goods.
The free trade pact is especially good news for US producers who will benefit from the agreement as the United States enjoys a 70% market share of Korea’s 8.6 million tonnes feed grains import market.
“Korea is an important market for US grains exports, benefiting our producers of barley, corn, sorghum and their co-products,” said US Grains Council Chairman Terry Vinduska.
“During the first nine months of this calendar year, Korea imported 373,000 tons of US distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), that is a 47% increase over the same time period of the previous year.”
US dominance
The passage of this agreement will be critical to ensuring the United States’ dominant market share in the face of competition from other sources.
From DDGS to corn imports for food use, Korea has been an important customer of US producers.
In addition to large imports of DDGS and feed grains, Korea also imported corn for food and industrial use, showing a 53.5 % increase on a year-to-year basis at 1.6 million tonnes.

Dick Ziggers

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