(Posted Tue. Feb 21st, 2012)

Feb. 21:  The U.S. Trade Representative announced today that the free trade agreement with Korea will go into effect on March 15, five months after approval by Congress. The move was greeted with praise by the National Corn Growers Association, which remains committed to the development and maintenance of fair and open global trade policies. 


“We are very pleased to see the USTR announce movement on the U.S.-Korea FTA,” said Chad Blindauer, Chair of NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team.  “Full implementation of all three free trade agreements that were passed by Congress last October will help support thousands of jobs throughout America. Developing new markets for our country’s agricultural products is vital to producer income and also helps our sector lead the nation in economic growth and international competitiveness.”


Korea is currently the United States’ third largest corn market and is a potentially important market for distillers grains.  Imports of U.S. corn for feed, as well as distillers grains, will now be guaranteed to enter duty free immediately.  The United States exported 241 million bushels of corn to Korea in marketing year 2010-11. 


Passage last year of the free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama represented the largest trade package since Congress passed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. Statistics show full implementation of the agreements will result in an estimated $2.3 billion in additional agricultural trade in 2012 and beyond.  In addition, nearly 20,000 domestic jobs will be supported.