With Beef Issue Settled, U.S.-Korea Trade Pact May Move Forward
South Korea agreed earlier this month to end its five-year ban on U.S. beef exports, raising hopes that the stalled U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement may gain some much-needed momentum in Congress. Until now, the pact has made little headway, mainly because South Korea, the third largest market for American beef, suspended beef trade in 2003, following the first case of mad cow disease in the United States.
"Now that the beef-trade issue is fixed, IDFA and other organizations can resume advocating for the implementation of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement," said Helen Medina, IDFA assistant director for international affairs. "Under the free trade agreement, U.S. dairy processors would have improved market opportunities for their cheese, whey powders, ice cream and other dairy goods."
The U.S. dairy industry exported $92 million worth of products to South Korea in 2007, a year when U.S. dairy exports set records for both total value and total quantity traded. The value of all dairy exports last year grew to $3 billion, increasing by 62 percent over 2006.
Because trade liberalization is not a priority for Congress, Medina said obtaining congressional passage of the U.S.-Korea trade pact will be difficult. However, IDFA will continue to work with the U.S. Korea Business Council and agricultural groups to educate congressional leaders on the economic importance of the trade pact.
For more information, contact Medina at email@example.com or 202-220-3507.
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Posted April 28, 2008