Local Business Leaders Convene to Discuss Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Benefits
Portland Business Alliance/Pacific Northwest International Trade Association Panel Discusses Opportunities for Local Communities and Companies
PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, local business representatives came together at the World Trade Center Portland to discuss ways that Portland’s companies and communities would benefit from the recently passed Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).
The event presented by the Portland Business Alliance/Pacific Northwest International Trade Association, Business Oregon, Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Export Council of Oregon & Southwest Washington included a panel discussion titled, “South Korea Trade Agreement: Benefits for Oregon,” which highlighted opportunities that will result from implementation of the KORUS FTA. Portland is considered a vital link to the Korean marketplace, and the local region is expected to significantly benefit from expanded two-way trade under the agreement, which includes the elimination of tariffs for Oregon goods and services exported to Korea and the institution of new intellectual property protection.
“Portland and Oregon are well-positioned to reap the benefits of expanded trade opportunities resulting from the KORUS FTA,” said Mr. Juseong Lim, First Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and one of the panelists. “This agreement will boost key Oregon exports, expand access to the Korean marketplace and generate new business and employment opportunities for local companies.”
The event included remarks from:
- Juseong Lim, First Secretary of Economic Affairs, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
- Michael Myers, Economist, Business Oregon
- Amanda Welker, Oregon Department of Agriculture
- Greg Borossay, Port Liner Development Manager, Port of Portland
- Steve Crowley, VP for Asia/Pacific Business Development and Sales, Erickson Air-Crane
In 2010, total exports from Oregon to Korea totaled $937 million. Following the implementation of the trade agreement this number is poised to increase dramatically. The KORUS FTA is expected to create approximately 2,725 new jobs for Oregon residents and local businesses will benefit in the following ways:
- In 2008, Korea was the 2nd largest export destination for Oregon’s agricultural products, importing $238 million worth of agricultural goods from Oregon. The KORUS FTA will eliminate tariffs across the agricultural board, giving Oregon’s exports greater access to the vibrant Korean market.
- For wheat exporters, Oregon’s chief export to Korea, an unlimited amount of U.S. wheat for milling will enter Korea duty free upon FTA implementation.
- As the nation’s fourth largest exporter of fresh and produced fruits, Oregon’s exports of cherries, dried apricots, wine and grape juice will gain immediate duty-free access under the agreement and other fruits will benefit from gradual tariff reductions.
- The KORUS FTA will reduce U.S. tariffs in many plastic and rubber raw materials over three to five years. Additionally, the FTA will grant machinery manufacturers duty-free treatment and continue to provide duty-free treatment for all agricultural and construction equipment – helping Oregon’s manufacturers remain competitive.
More information about the KORUS FTA is available at www.koreauspartnership.org.
SOURCE Embassy of South Korea