ND Ag Commissioner Backs South Korea Free Trade Agreement

Pact would lift duties on wheat, barley, corn and soybeans.

Published on: Sep 22, 2009
Back from a trip to Seoul, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is pushing for quick ratification of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Opening the Korean market is crucial to North Dakota's agriculture industry and economy, he says.

"Approval of the Korean Free Trade Agreement would cause almost two-thirds of the U.S. farm products exported to Korea to become duty free immediately. Eliminating the extremely high tariffs on food and agriculture products makes these products more affordable to Korean consumers while offering economic stability in the Korean market for our producers here in North Dakota."

In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Goehring wrote that the proposed agreement would specifically benefit North Dakota by lifting the duties on wheat, barley, food-use soybeans, corn for feed and fresh potatoes. The treaty would also gradually reduce duties on dairy products, beef muscle meats, soybean oil, flaxseed, canola oil, sunflower seed oil, peas, beans and other legumes.

The U.S. and South Korea signed the trade agreement in 2007. It now has to be ratified by Congress.

Source: ND Department of Agriculture