NCBA Welcomes Trade Developments with Korea
— Senator Baucus Announces Support of KORUS
WASHINGTON – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today
welcomes news from U.S. government officials regarding progress made on the long awaited trade agreement between the United States and South Korea (KORUS FTA). In a letter
to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk indicated that once the KORUS FTA has been implemented, the United States will request consultations with South Korea to discuss the beef protocol’s full application. Subsequent to the letter, Sen. Baucus announced
his support for the trade pact. Bill Donald, NCBA president and Montana rancher, said Sen. Baucus served as a “powerful and committed” advocate for U.S. cattle ranchers throughout the negotiations with Korea.
“As a Montana rancher, it was an honor to hear Sen. Baucus voice his support for this trade agreement, which could be the most impactful trade agreement the United States has entered into in decades. Sen. Baucus has been very instrumental in providing access for U.S. beef into very critical Asian markets,” said Donald. “We stand behind Sen. Baucus 100 percent and fully support all members of Congress who understand the importance of free trade to the overall success of rural America and the entire U.S. economy.”
When implemented, the KORUS FTA would reduce Korea’s current tariff on U.S. beef from 40 percent to zero over the next fifteen years. The U.S. beef industry would see $15 million in new tariff benefits in the first year alone, with about $325 million in tariff reductions annually once fully implemented. In 2003, U.S. beef producers sold $815 million in beef, beef variety meats and processed beef products to Korea. Once KORUS FTA enters into force, Korea could eventually be a $1 billion market for U.S. beef producers, according to Donald.
“NCBA has been an outspoken proponent of this trade agreement from the very beginning. We will continue to urge members of Congress to ratify this trade pact as soon as President Obama sends it to them,” said Donald. “The month of May is beef month and this news coming out of Washington is an excellent way to celebrate the importance of safe and affordable beef to all consumers in the United States and abroad.”