Washington, D.C. – Today, Acting United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis marked the first anniversary of the entry into force of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, and noted the significant benefits already accruing to businesses and workers in both countries. Notable U.S. export increases occurred in the transportation sector, which experienced a 24 percent increase to $5.0 billion; sales of “Detroit 3” cars in Korea increased 18 percent, and overall U.S. passenger vehicle exports to Korea increased 48 percent. Chemical exports, exports of private services – such as legal services, and travel services, and royalties and licensing fees – and exports of a large number of American agricultural products including fruits, nuts, juices, and wine, have seen significant increases as well. All of which helps to bring home the agreement’s promise to boost exports that support American jobs.
“One year in, I am pleased to see that the U.S.-Korea trade agreement is already producing promising results for U.S. businesses and workers in America’s factories, farms, and firms,” Ambassador Marantis said. “As both of our economies improve, we look forward to seeing America’s growing exports to Korea support even more jobs here at home. USTR will continue to work with our Korean partners to ensure that our companies and citizens in both countries can take advantage of this agreement’s significant opportunities.”
Exports of U.S. manufactured goods to Korea increased by 1.3 percent in 2012; total U.S. exports to Korea increased by 2.5 percent when exports of American corn and mineral fuel (primarily coal) are disregarded (both of these products experienced a global export downturn due to external global factors like drought and changes in relative energy prices).
The United States and the Republic of Korea signed the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement on June 30, 2007. On December 3, 2010, the United States and Korea agreed on new commitments, reflected in letters signed on February 10, 2011 that allowed the U.S.-Korea trade agreement to move forward as they provided new market access and leveled the playing field for U.S. auto manufacturers and workers. Congress approved the U.S.-Korea pact on October 12, 2011, and Korea’s National Assembly approved it on November 22, 2011. The agreement entered into force on March 15, 2012, and as of today, almost 80 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports to Korea, and over two-thirds of America’s agricultural exports, are already duty free. By January 1, 2016, Korean tariffs on more than 95 percent of exports of U.S. industrial and consumer goods to Korea will have been eliminated.