United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk says the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea will be implemented on March 15, 2012. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President J.D. Alexander says this may very well be the most monumental bilateral trade pact ever witnessed. He says that when the KORUS FTA is implemented, our competitive advantage will be secured.
"With increasing demand and tightening supplies, movement of the KORUS FTA should encourage cattlemen and women to think beyond the current prices for live cattle and think long term," Alexander said. "Think about where demand is heading and look beyond the borders of the United States. Now is the time to retain heifers and rebuild what has now become the smallest U.S. cowherd in more than five decades."
NCBA was a key player in working vigorously to ensure passage of the trade pact with South Korea. Alexander says the KORUS pact will phase out tariffs on U.S. beef over the next 15 years and will make U.S. beef a more affordable and appealing choice for valued Korean customers.
The American Soybean Association also voiced its support of President Barack Obama and the administration for completing its review of the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea. Upon implementation nearly two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports to Korea will become duty-free, including U.S. soybeans for crushing and U.S. soybean meal. Additionally, U.S. food-grade soybean producers will have access to the South Korean market for the first time. The implementation of the agreement will also trigger the gradual elimination of tariffs on refined soybean oil over five years, and the elimination of tariffs on crude soybean oil over 10 years.
ASA President Steve Wellman says this free trade agreement creates landmark opportunities for soybeans and other U.S. agricultural exports, including meat and poultry. Trade agreements that significantly improve access to foreign markets for these products are a main focus of ASA's efforts in Washington.