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U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement

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 $144.6 billion in 2016. Exports were $63.8 billion; imports were $80.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Korea was $17.0 billion in 2016.

Korea is currently our 6th largest goods trading partner with $112.2 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016. Goods exports totaled $42.3 billion; goods imports totaled $69.9 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea was $27.7 billion in 2016.

Trade in services with Korea totaled an estimated $32.4 billion in 2016. Services exports totaled $21.6 billion; services imports totaled $10.9 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with Korea was $10.7 billion in 2016.

Exports

Korea was the United States' 7th largest goods export market in 2016.

U.S. goods exports to Korea in 2016 were $42.3 billion, down 2.7% ($1.2 billion) from 2015. U.S. exports to Korea are down 2.8% from 2011 (pre-FTA). U.S. exports to Korea account for 2.9% of overall U.S. exports in 2016.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2016 were: machinery ($6.1 billion), electrical machinery ($5.3 billion), aircraft ($5.2 billion), optical and medical instruments ($2.9 billion), and vehicles ($2.2 billion).

U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Korea totaled $6.2 billion in 2016, our 5th largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: beef & beef products ($1.1 billion), corn ($865 million), fresh fruit ($389 million), prepared food ($370 million), and pork & pork products ($365 million).

U.S. exports of services to Korea were an estimated $21.6 billion in 2016, 5.1% ($1.0 billion) more than 2015. It was up roughly 29.3% from 2011 (pre-FTA). Leading services exports from the U.S. to Korea were in the travel, intellectual property (industrial processes, computer software), and transport sectors.

Imports

Korea was the United States' 6th largest supplier of goods imports in 2016. 

U.S. goods imports from Korea totaled $69.9 billion in 2016, down 2.5% ($1.8 billion) from 2015. U.S. imports from Korea are up 23.4% from 2011 (pre-FTA). U.S. imports from Korea account for 3.2% of overall U.S. imports in 2016. 

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2016 were: vehicles ($21 billion), electrical machinery ($16 billion), machinery ($10 billion), pharmaceuticals ($2.4 billion), and mineral fuels ($2.2 billion). 

U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Korea totaled $519 million in 2016. Leading categories include: processed fruit & vegetables ($81 million), snack foods ($49 million), other fresh fruit ($31 million), fresh vegetables ($17 million), and other dairy products ($16 million). 

U.S. imports of services from Korea were an estimated $10.9 billion in 2016, 2.1% ($230 million) less than 2015. It was up roughly 11.9% from 2011 (pre-FTA). Leading services imports from Korea to the U.S. were in the transportation and travel sectors.

Trade Balance

The U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea was $27.7 billion in 2016, a 2.3% decrease ($647 million) over 2015. 

The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $10.7 billion with Korea in 2016, up 2.6% from 2015.

Investment

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea (stock ) was $34.6 billion in 2015, a 3.3% increase from 2014.  U.S. direct investment in Korea is led by manufacturing, and finance/insurance. 

Korea’s FDI in the United States (stock) was $40.1 billion in 2015, up 0.5% from 2014.  Korea’s direct investment in the U.S. is led by wholesale trade, and manufacturing. 

Sales of services in Korea by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $14.0 billion in 2014 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Korea-owned firms were $17.6 billion.