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Korea

Opportunities for U.S. Exporters Under the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement entered into force on March 15, 2012.   If you’re an American exporter, here are resources to answer your questions about the U.S.-Korea trade agreement:

• Check out the FTA Tariff Tool to find out the tariff levels for your products, and other information about market access under the agreement.

The United States and the Republic of Korea signed the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on June 30, 2007.

U.S.-Korea Trade Facts

U.S. goods and services trade with Korea totaled an estimated $167.6 billion in 2018. Exports were $80.9 billion; imports were $86.7 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Korea was $5.8 billion in 2018.

Korea is currently our 6th largest goods trading partner with $130.6 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2018. Goods exports totaled $56.3 billion; goods imports totaled $74.3 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea was $17.9 billion in 2018.

Trade in services with Korea (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $36.9 billion in 2018. Services exports were $24.6 billion; services imports were $12.4 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with Korea was $12.2 billion in 2018.

Exports

  • Korea was the United States' 7th largest goods export market in 2018.
     
  • U.S. goods exports to Korea in 2018 were $56.3 billion, up 16.6% ($8.0 billion) from 2017 and up 62.5% from 2008. U.S. exports to Korea are up 29.6% from 2011 (pre-FTA). U.S. exports to Korea account for 3.4% of overall U.S. exports in 2018.
     
  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: mineral fuels ($9.8 billion), machinery ($7.9 billion), electrical machinery ($5.7 billion), optical and medical instruments ($3.5 billion), and aircraft ($3.3 billion).
     
  • U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Korea totaled $8.4 billion in 2018, our 5th largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: beef & beef products ($1.7 billion), corn ($1.4 billion), pork & pork products ($670 million), fresh fruit ($490 million), and wheat ($360 million).
     
  • U.S. exports of services to Korea were an estimated $24.6 billion in 2018, 1.6% ($395 million) more than 2017, and 79.8% greater than 2008 levels. It was up roughly 47.4% from 2011 (pre-FTA). Leading services exports from the U.S. to Korea were in the travel, intellectual property (industrial processes), and transport sectors.

Imports

  • Korea was the United States' 6th largest supplier of goods imports in 2018.
     
  • U.S. goods imports from Korea totaled $74.3 billion in 2018, up 4.0% ($2.8 billion) from 2017, and up 54.5% from 2008. U.S. imports from Korea are up 31.1% from 2011 (pre-FTA). U.S. imports from Korea account for 2.9% of overall U.S. imports in 2018.
     
  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: vehicles ($18 billion), machinery ($15 billion), electrical machinery ($14 billion), mineral fuels ($3.2 billion), and pharmaceuticals ($2.7 billion).
     
  • U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Korea totaled $627 million in 2018. Leading categories include: processed fruit & vegetables ($119 million), snack foods ($52 million), other fresh fruit ($36 million), fresh vegetables ($22 million), and other dairy products ($16 million).
     
  • U.S. imports of services from Korea were an estimated $12.4 billion in 2018, 13.7% ($1.5 billion) more than 2017, and 53.2% greater than 2008 levels. It was up roughly 27.1% from 2011 (pre-FTA). Leading services imports from Korea to the U.S. were in the transportation, travel, and intellectual property (industrial processes) sectors.

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea was $17.9 billion in 2018, a 22.4% decrease ($5.2 billion) over 2017.
     
  • The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $12 billion with Korea in 2018, down 8.3% from 2017.

Investment

  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea (stock) was $41.6 billion in 2017 (latest data available), a 8.1% increase from 2016. U.S. direct investment in Korea is led by manufacturing, finance and insurance, and wholesale trade.
     
  • Korea's FDI in the United States (stock) was $51.8 billion in 2017 (latest data available), up 21.8% from 2016. Korea's direct investment in the U.S. is led by wholesale trade, manufacturing, and depository institutions.
     
  • Sales of services in Korea by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $13.6 billion in 2016 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Korea-owned firms were $25.7 billion.