U.S.-South Korea Trade Pact Would Expand Pork Market

WASHINGTON D.C. - The National Pork Producers Council commended the Bush administration for beginning bilateral free-trade negotiations with South Korea, the sixth largest export market for U.S. pork and pork products.
calendar icon 7 February 2006
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While U.S. pork exports to South Korea have increased by 492 percent since implementation in 1995 of the WTO Uruguay Round trade agreement, there is much room for expansion in that market. Indeed, Chile, a major competitor to the U.S. pork industry, recently signed a free trade agreement with the Asian country.

Korean import tariffs on many pork products supplied by Chile have been declining under the terms of the FTA, which took effect in 2004. Chilean pork will receive unlimited duty free access by 2014.

“South Korea is an important export market for U.S. pork producers, but further growth is imperiled by increased South Korean imports of Chilean pork,“ said NPPC President Don Buhl, a pork producer from Tyler, Minn. “So getting a free trade deal done with South Korea is imperative to U.S. producers.“

NPPC supports an ambitious free trade agreement with South Korea—a country where pork constitutes 44 percent of daily meat protein consumption and continues to grow. South Korea will offer significant growth in exports of many cuts of U.S. pork, particularly bellies and butts.

“We will work with the U.S. Trade Representative to get a free trade agreement with South Korea that is beneficial to U.S. pork producers,“ said Buhl, who noted that in addition to NPPC’s political activities, industry research and analysis on the benefits of trade – paid for with producer check-off funds – will be used in securing an agreement.

Source: National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) - 2nd February 2006

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