The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

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U.S.-Korean agreement goes into effect

As the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement entered into force today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said it was “a monumental day for American farmers and ranchers.”

“Under the new U.S.-Korea trade agreement, two-thirds of the tariffs imposed on U.S. food and agricultural products exported to South Korea are being eliminated,” Vilsack said. “Over the next few years, as additional barriers fall and more U.S. businesses market products to Korea’s expanding economy, American agricultural exports should grow by $1.9 billion and help support nearly 16,000 jobs here at home.”

Stewart and Stewart, a trade-oriented law firm, said that, while critics have concerns about “implementation, circumvention, and other aspects of the agreement,” the U.S.-Korea pact is the most important free trade agreement commercially for the United States “since the completion of NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] 18 years ago.”