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Agriculture News As It Happens

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U.S.-Korea trade agreement takes effect March 15

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that the U.S.-Korea trade agreement will enter into force – that is, take effect – on March 15.

The agreement makes almost two-thirds of U.S. exports of agricultural products to Korea duty-free, including wheat, corn, soybeans for crushing, whey for feed use, hides and skins, cotton, cherries, pistachios, almonds, orange juice, grape juice, and wine, the announcement noted.

Korean tariffs on U.S. meat and poultry will be phased out over a 15-year period, according to the American Meat Institute.

U.S. and Korean diplomats spent the President's Day weekend reviewing each other’s laws and regulations related to the implementation of the agreement, USTR said. The United States has exchanged diplomatic notes with Korea in which each side confirmed that they had completed their applicable legal requirements and procedures for the agreement’s entry into force, USTR added.

Korea's main opposition party, the Democratic United Party, has vowed to scrap the pact if it wins in April's general elections, unless Washington agrees to hold renegotiations to revise some clauses, the Korea Herald reported today.