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Statement by Ambassador Michael Froman on the Third Anniversary of KORUS

March 13, 2015

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman released the following statement to mark the three-year anniversary of the entry into force of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).  Overall, U.S.-Korea goods and services trade has risen from $126.5 billion in 2011 to a record $145.2 billion in 2014. The U.S.-Korea trade and investment relationship is substantially larger and stronger than in 2011, and KORUS has contributed to a strong and successful 2014 for American exporters.  The agreement is unlocking opportunity for more Americans, supporting good-paying jobs, and contributing to our record overall exports of $2.35 trillion in 2014.

“The third anniversary of the US-Korea trade agreement offers an opportunity to take stock.  After battling economic headwinds, our trade with Korea is expanding, American industries are gaining market-share across the range of sectors from autos and chemicals to film and telecom; and this past year in particular we saw a surge in U.S. goods and services being sold in Korea. We now sell over a billion dollars’ worth of U.S.-made autos in Korea, an increase of 140% over the last 3 years. There is, of course, much more room for growth, given how closed Korea’s market was before this agreement. The numbers are encouraging, but this story is about more than numbers.  Because we have made trade with Korea easier, farmers and ranchers are exporting “Grown-in-America” cherries, beef, cheese, and other ag products at record levels; labs and studios are providing Koreans with more “Created-in-America” medicines, apps, and Internet services; and businesses of all shapes and sizes are better able to sell “Made-in-America” goods in Korea.  Families whose incomes are tied to trade are seeing a little more money in their pockets, and entrepreneurs who are looking to grow may see opportunity across the Pacific.”

“This story is playing out across the spectrum of America’s free trade agreements. As a group, the United States has a trade surplus with our FTA partners, and that surplus has grown over the past few years. Our agreements are creating pathways for American products to be sold overseas and supporting more American jobs at home.  This in turn has made a fundamentally important contribution to the past year’s remarkable record of economic growth.  We are looking to build on this success and further unlock new opportunities for Americans by expanding trade in the Asia-Pacific and Europe.” 

To view a fact sheet on the third anniversary of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, please click here.