KORUS trade deal updatePresident Trump announced that the United States and South Korea signed the revised free trade agreement between the countries. The United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)agreement, which was finalized earlier this year, was signed during the United Nations General Assembly meeting.
The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, or KORUS, was one of several trade agreements scrutinized by the president during his 2016 election campaign. The National Pork Producers Council was pleased with the outcome of the renegotiations, with the new deal having little impact on agriculture. Most U.S. pork will continue to flow to South Korea with no tariff. (Prior to KORUS, Korean duties on U.S. chilled and frozen pork were 22.5% and 25%, respectively.) Last year, the United States shipped $475 million of pork to South Korea — a 30% increase over 2016 — making it the No. 5 U.S. pork export market.
“We are entering into a new KORUS agreement that is a better deal for the entire United States economy, including the agricultural sector. This represents an important improvement in trade relations between our two nations, building on long-standing cooperation we have enjoyed,” said Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. “This agreement adds to the momentum building for President Trump’s approach to trade, which is to stand strong for America’s interests and strike better deals. I am optimistic that the dominoes will continue to fall: KORUS, then a new NAFTA, and new agreements with the European Union, Japan, and, most notably, China. As an avid sportsman, I would say ‘put this one in the bag and keep hunting for more.’”
In other pork trade news, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently released a list of approximately $200 billion of Chinese goods subject to an additional U.S. import tariff. A new 10% tariff became effective Sept. 24. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the tariff will increase to 25%. In response, the Chinese government indicated it will impose additional tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods exported to China. U.S. pork is on two Chinese retaliation lists, suffering from significant punitive tariffs.