U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement
New Opportunities for U.S. Exporters Under the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement
The entry into force of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement on March 15, 2012 means countless new opportunities for U.S. exporters to sell more Made-in-America goods, services, and agricultural products to Korean customers – and to support more good jobs here at home. If you’re an American exporter, here are resources to answer your questions about how the U.S.-Korea trade agreement can work for you:
• Check out the FTA Tariff Tool to find out the new tariff levels for your products, and other information about your market access under the agreement.
• For a detailed list of resources to assist U.S. exporters and importers, including information regarding certification of origin, please see Tools to Help Utilize the U.S.-Korea FTA.
• For further assistance, please email KORUS@ustr.eop.gov or call USTR's Office of Korean Affairs at 202-395-5070, where Bryant Trick or Su-Jin Yoo can help to answer additional questions
The United States and the Republic of Korea signed the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on June 30, 2007. On December 3, 2010, the United States and Korea concluded new agreements, reflected in letters signed on February 10, 2011, that provide new market access and level the playing field for U.S. auto manufacturers and workers. Congress approved the agreement on October 12, 2011, and Korea’s National Assembly approved it on November 22, 2011. The United States and Korea completed their review of the measures both sides had taken to implement the FTA and exchanged diplomatic notes on February 21 agreeing to bring the agreement into force on March 15, 2012.
The Agreement is the United States' most commercially significant free trade agreement in almost two decades.
The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the reduction of Korean tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on goods alone will add $10 billion to $12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea.
Under the FTA, almost 80 percent of U.S. exports to Korea of consumer and industrial products will become duty free on March 15, 2012, and nearly 95 percent of bilateral trade in consumer and industrial products will become duty free within five years of that date. Most remaining tariffs would be eliminated within 10 years.
For agricultural products, the FTA will immediately eliminate or phase out tariffs and quotas on a broad range of products, with almost two-thirds (by value) of Korea's agriculture imports from the United States becoming duty free upon entry into force.
For services, the FTA will provide meaningful market access commitments that extend across virtually all major service sectors, including greater and more secure access for international delivery services and the opening up of the Korean market for foreign legal consulting services.
In the area of financial services, the FTA will increase access to the Korean market and ensure greater transparency and fair treatment for U.S. suppliers of financial services. The FTA will address nontariff barriers in a wide range of sectors and includes strong provisions on competition policy, labor and environment, and transparency and regulatory due process.
The KORUS FTA will also provide U.S. suppliers with greater access to the Korean government procurement market. In addition to strengthening our economic partnership, the KORUS FTA would help to solidify the two countries' long-standing geostrategic alliance.
As the first U.S. FTA with a North Asian partner, the KORUS FTA is a model for trade agreements for the rest of the region, and underscores the U.S. commitment to, and engagement in, the Asia-Pacific region.