May 28, 2007


US-South Korea trade agreement boon for pork industry



A free-trade agreement between the US and South Korea when fully implemented will be a boon for the US pork industry, according to a press release from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).


The additional sales generated by this trade agreement could eventually provide the nation's pork producers with an additional US$10 per pig.


The trade deal is pending a vote by the US Congress, the release said. The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea also must approve the pact, which was formally completed April 1.


"This is the single most important trade agreement ever for the US pork industry, and it will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new export sales," said NPPC President Jill Appell.


South Korea is already the fourth-largest market for US pork and pork products. Dermot Hayes, an Iowa State University economist, projects that by the end of the FTA phase-in period, total US pork exports to South Korea will rise to nearly 600,000   tonnes. Hayes said that is about twice as much as the amount currently shipped to Japan, the no. 1 export market for US pork.


According to the US Meat Export Federation's export sales data, shipments of US pork and pork-variety meats to South Korea last year totalled 109,198 tonnes.


Under terms of the deal, tariffs will be eliminated on all frozen and processed pork products by 2014. Fresh chilled pork will be duty-free 10 years after implementation but with a safeguard.


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