ITC: US pork benefits from Korea trade deal

27-09-2007 | |
ITC: US pork benefits from Korea trade deal

The price competitiveness of US pork will be enhanced through the increased market access the United States will gain under the US-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), according to a report by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The US National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) welcomed completion of the ITC’s economic analysis, which estimates the Korea trade deal will increase the US gross domestic product by up to $11 billion.

NPPC is a strong supporter of the trade agreement.

Positive step
“The completion of the ITC report is a positive step forward in the process of implementing the trade agreement with South Korea,” said NPPC president Jill Appell.

“This FTA offers US pork producers a significant opportunity to increase pork exports to an already lucrative market for US pork.”

South Korea already is the fourth largest destination for pork from the United States, which shipped 109,198 metric tonnes valued at $232 million to the Asian nation in 2006.

Those amounts are expected to soar under the free trade agreement. For pork producers, when the pact is fully implemented it will cause live US hog prices to be $10 higher than would otherwise have been the case, according to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.

Economy wide study
Under the rules of Trade Promotion Authority, the ITC must complete an economy wide study of any free trade agreement.

The report on the Korea FTA covers a broad range of sectors, including agriculture, services and manufactured goods.

The ITC noted that the increased market access would likely enhance the price competitiveness of US pork in the Korean market, “especially with respect to pork from Chile.”

That country implemented an FTA with Korea in 2004 that gives it duty-free access to the Korean market beginning in 2014. Chile is a major competitor with the United States in the Korean market for pork.

The trade deal, on which NPPC worked to get favorable treatment for US pork and pork products, is pending a vote by Congress. The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea also must approve the pact, which was formally completed April 1.

“It is now time for Congress to act,” NPPC’s Appell said, “It should ratify the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement expeditiously because it will benefit US pork producers and the overall US economy.”

Related websites:
• Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)
• National Pork Producers Countil (NPPC) 
• Iowa State University

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