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North American Meat Institute statement Regarding Revisions to the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Attribute Statement to North American President and CEO Barry Carpenter in response to today’s announcement regarding revisions to the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement:

“The successful revision of the U.S.-South Korea (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement announced today by the Trump Administration is welcome news for the U.S. meat industry, as it safeguards crucial access to one of our fastest growing, most important export markets.

The agreement reached between the U.S. and South Korean governments not only ensures U.S. meat producers, processors and packers will retain their strong competitive advantage in this vital Asian market, but also affords South Korean consumers continued access to high-quality U.S. meat products they increasingly demand.

The U.S. is the largest supplier of beef to South Korea and second largest pork supplier. In 2017, U.S. red meat exports to South Korea reached a record $1.7 billion, up 69 percent since the agreement’s entry into force in 2012. Most U.S. pork products now enter South Korea duty free, and the tariff on U.S. beef, which has been reduced from 40 percent to 21.3 percent, will continue to decline each year until it is eliminated by 2026.

We are pleased the negotiations did not change the terms for U.S. meat exports, and urge that these tariff rate reductions be maintained in any successive amendments to the agreement.

The future growth of the U.S. agricultural economy, and meat and poultry sector, depends upon a fair and robust trade relationship with South Korea, and we commend the Administration’s efforts to negotiate constructive changes to KORUS that will further strengthen our bilateral relationship.”

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