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STATEMENT BY AGRICULTURE SECRETARY MIKE JOHANNS REGARDING THE INITIATION OF FREE TRADE AGREEMENT TALKS WITH SOUTH KOREA

February 2, 2006

"President Bush's announcement that South Korea and the United States intend to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement is exciting news for agriculture.

"Korea is the world's 10th largest economy and already our sixth largest market for agricultural exports, with a very real potential for greatly expanded sales of U.S. farm and food products. A free trade agreement will greatly improve access for our producers to Korean consumers that seek high quality and affordably priced U.S. products. Korea already is a significant market for our corn, soybeans, wheat, processed foods, cotton, citrus, nuts and fruit juices.

"In 2004, Korea imported $10.6 billion in agricultural products to satisfy the demand of its increasingly affluent 48 million consumers. The United States provides over a fifth of Korea's agricultural imports and that would significantly increase under a free trade agreement that would enhance market access and eliminate remaining trade barriers for U.S. exports."

 

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Release No. 0034.06
FAS PR 0015-06

USDA Contact: Press Office (202) 720-9120



 
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