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Assistant USTR Cutler Speaks on the One-Year Anniversary of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

By Sanjana Dubey, Office of Public and Media Affairs

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (AUSTR) for Japan, Korea and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Affairs Wendy Cutler traveled to New York City today to speak at a Korea Society event celebrating the first anniversary of the entry into force of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement. During the moderated discussion, Cutler gave a brief overview of the progress in the first year of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, and discussed her outlook on its future.

At the event, Cutler discussed the considerable benefits to U.S. exporters in the first year of the agreement. “Exports of U.S. autos are up by 48 percent, driven not only by the increased price competitiveness that came from cutting Korea’s auto tariff in half, but also because the reduction of non-tariff barriers made exporting vehicles from the United States a better business proposition,” she said. U.S. exports of fresh fruits and nuts, wine, and fruit juices have also enjoyed robust growth since the agreement entered into force, and services exports experienced a 9 percent increase over 2011 totals.

She predicted both sides would see further gains from the agreement as additional provisions are implemented, as more small- and medium-sized businesses take advantage of the opportunities the agreement provides, and as more partnerships are formed between U.S. and Korean companies.

Assistant USTR Cutler served as the Chief Negotiator for this agreement, and is responsible for developing and implementing U.S. trade policy towards Japan and Korea. The one-year anniversary of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, observed on March 15, underscores the strengthening of the U.S.-Korea relationship and the significant new economic opportunities available to both countries.