Agriculture was ‘left out’ of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement renegotiation effort, a relief to the sector. For many in agriculture, there was more to lose than gain in the renegotiation effort. The U.S. is the largest supplier of beef to Korea and the second largest pork supplier. Data from the U.S. Meat Export Federation shows red meat exports to Korea set a record last year of $1.7 billion, up 19 percent from the prior year and up 69 percent from 2012.
USMEF spokesperson Joe Schuele told meat industry publication Meatingplace the revised KORUS is “excellent news” for U.S. beef and pork because it ensures the U.S. “will continue to be able to serve the growing South Korean market.” South Korea is also a top-five importer of U.S. corn, buying more than 5.3 million metric tons in the last marketing year, which is more than 200 million bushels. Under the new agreement, South Korea will limit its steel exports to the U.S. and allow more imports of U.S. autos. The U.S. agreed to exempt South Korea from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.