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Partners Across Government Applaud Entry into Force of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

On Thursday, USTR’s partners across government applauded the entry into force of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement.

At President Obama’s direction, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative worked with Congress, stakeholders, and the Korean government to address outstanding issues with the agreement and win its overwhelming bipartisan approval in Congress last fall. Today, thousands of tariffs on U.S. exports to Korea will be eliminated, non-tariff barriers to U.S. goods and services will come down, and new protections will come into place for U.S. exporters, investors, and intellectual property rights holders.

What some of our government leaders are saying so far:

“Not only will the agreement provide a significant economic boost to both of our economies, it will strengthen the U.S. partnership with a key ally in a strategically important region. This is a powerful signal of America's commitment to the Asia Pacific and to securing and sustaining our role as a regional leader and Pacific power.” -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

“Today is a monumental day for American farmers and ranchers. Under the new U.S.-Korea trade agreement, two-thirds of the tariffs imposed on U.S. food and agricultural products exported to South Korea are being eliminated.” -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

“This agreement will help open up access to the world’s 12th-largest economy by eliminating Korea’s tariffs on almost 80 percent of U.S. exports of industrial goods on entry into force. It will bolster the continued expansion of U.S. exports, which supported an increase in 1.2 million jobs from 2009 to 2011. In short, it will present real and immediate new opportunities (PDF) for U.S. exporters seeking to enter or expand their presence in the Korean market.” -- U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson

“Made in America” goods will gain easier entrance into the Korean market thanks to the US-Korea trade agreement terms. The agreement will eliminate tariffs on over 95 percent of industrial and consumer goods within five years.” -- Small Business Administrator Karen Mills