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The United States-Korea Trade Agreement

The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS Agreement) is an integral part of the President’s efforts to increase opportunities for U.S. businesses, farmers and workers through improved access for their products and services in foreign markets, and supports the President’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling of U.S. exports in 5 years. The agreement promotes the further integration of the U.S. and Korean economies and enhances the competitiveness of U.S. businesses in the world’s 12th largest economy.

The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the reduction of Korean tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on goods alone under the KORUS Agreement will add nearly $12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and nearly $11 billion in annual merchandise exports to Korea. All told, the Agreement will support tens of thousands of American jobs.

Under the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement, over 95 percent of bilateral trade in consumer and industrial products will become duty-free within five years of the date the agreement enters into force, and most remaining tariffs would be eliminated within 10 years.

For agricultural products, the Agreement will immediately eliminate or phase out tariffs and quotas on a broad range of products, with nearly two-thirds (by value) of Korea's agriculture imports from the United States becoming duty-free upon entry into force.

The Agreement will also open up Korea’s $580 billion services market to highly competitive American companies, supporting jobs for American workers in sectors ranging from delivery and telecommunications services to education and health care services.

Furthermore, in addition to strengthening our economic partnership, the KORUS Agreement will help to solidify the two countries' long-standing geostrategic alliance. As the first U.S. trade agreement with a North Asian partner, the KORUS Agreement complements the Administration’s efforts to expand business opportunities for the United States in Asia, including through such initiatives as the Trans Pacific Partnership.

The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement entered into force on March 15, 2012. The Agreement provides immediate benefits for U.S. exports. A summary of these benefits is provided here. 2014 also brought new market access and duty-free treatment for additional U.S. exports to Korea.

Industry Opportunity Reports

Select from the links below to view reports that profile the current trade and tariff environment for U.S. exporters to Korea, summarize the sector-specific market access results of the KORUS Agreement, assess foreign competition in the Korean market, and describe non-tariff barriers addressed by the agreement that are critical for exporters in each sector.

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Last Updated: 3/31/14 10:36 AM