The Trump Administration has reached an agreement with South Korea on market access for U.S. rice.
Under the agreement, South Korea will provide access for 132,304 tons of U.S. rice annually, with an annual value of approximately $110 million. South Korea also agreed to ensure transparency and predictability around the tendering and auctioning for U.S. rice.
“It will prove enormously beneficial for American producers and their customers in Korea, who will enjoy access to high quality and cost competitive U.S. rice," said U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.
"Exports are critical for the economic health of the U.S. rice industry, with half our crop being exported every year," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "Agreements like this, that expand opportunities for U.S. rice producers in important markets, are critical to introduce foreign customers to the bounty of goods produced by America’s farmers.”
In 2014, the United States, Australia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam entered into negotiations with South Korea when its special treatment for rice market access under the World Trade Organization expired. As a result of these negotiations, South Korea agreed to include in its WTO Schedule a 408,700-ton tariff-rate quota for rice imports with a 5% in-quota duty and a 513% above-quota duty. Of that 408,700 tons, Korea will allocate 388,700 tons of rice into country-specific quotas under a Plurilateral Agreement with the United States, Australia, China, Thailand and Vietnam. The remaining 20,000 tons will be administered on a global basis, which U.S. suppliers can also bid for.
The agreement becomes effective Jan. 1, 2020.