On Sept. 24, the revised Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) was signed by President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued the following statement:
Signing of the revised KORUS agreement is reassuring news for the U.S. beef and pork industries. The market access terms secured in the original KORUS not only helped increase U.S. red meat’s market share in South Korea, but also bolstered consumption by making our beef and pork products more affordable and accessible to Korean consumers. The United States is the largest supplier of beef to Korea and trails only the European Union as the second-largest pork supplier. U.S. red meat exports to Korea set a record last year of $1.7 billion, up 19 percent year-over-year and up 69 percent from 2012, when KORUS entered into force. This trend continues in 2018, with both U.S. beef and pork export value increasing more than 50 percent compared to a year ago. Korea is now the second-largest value market for U.S. beef (after Japan) and fourth-largest for U.S. pork (after Japan, Mexico and China/Hong Kong).
Under KORUS, most U.S. pork products now enter Korea duty-free. The duty rate on U.S. beef has been reduced from 40 percent to 21.3 percent and will continue to decline each year until it is eliminated by 2026. All major red meat competitors also now have free trade agreements with Korea, but the U.S. has benefited from KORUS being implemented earlier than most of these FTAs, providing the U.S. with a head start on tariff elimination. USMEF thanks our U.S. trade officials for recognizing the importance of the favorable terms included in KORUS, and maintaining them in the revised agreement.