Trade With South Korea

Trade With South Korea

Yesterday we talked with Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse about Governor Gregoire’s recent trade mission to India and Korea, and he shared that while there is certainly hope for opening up more agricultural trade with India, it is still a “challenging work in progress”. Trade with Korea however is good, especially with this year’s new U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Newhouse talks about a recent trade development there.

NEWHOUSE: Actually, as we were landing in Seoul the announcement was made that the chipping potatoes from the United States would be allowed into Korea, which were restricted due to some phytosanitary issues. That’s a huge opportunity. I think immediately, or at least this fall we’ll see somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million worth of potatoes, just from that one decision, be able to go to Korea from the state of Washington. So that’s a great step forward.

Other commodities are also benefiting from the Korean Free Trade Agreement.

NEWHOUSE: Cherry exports went up 86% just in this year since the signing of that agreement. (We’re) Working very hard with Korean government officials on changing some of the requirements for how cherries are handled before they get to that country. Currently they require fumigation, which shortens shelf life, reduces quality, and increases cost. And so working with them, and I think making some good progress on having them accept a systems approach similar to what Japan is using.

Newhouse says overall the India-Korea trade mission was successful.

NEWHOUSE: Those markets are huge for us, and so I was very happy that we were able to be part of the mission. I think we’re going to see a lot of benefit from it in the years to come.

A delegation of Korean trade officials were in Tacoma and Seattle this week talking with local port, trade, and business officials about the positive effects of the Free Trade Agreement.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network. 

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