California Wine Exports to Benefit from Signing of U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement
SAN FRANCISCO April 4, 2007 — The United States Trade Representative concluded historic Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Korea on April 1, 2007, which will result in eventual elimination of tariffs and other barriers to trade in most goods and services. Wine and more than half (or $1.5 billion) of current U.S. farm exports to Korea will become duty-free immediately upon ratification by both countries. The agreement now goes to the U.S. Congress for approval and the President's signature.
"Korea is an economically significant wine market with its consumption growing 174 percent in the last five years. We applaud the U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and her team for helping to enhance our industry's competitive stance in Korea," said Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch.
Through 2004, U.S. wine exports to Korea were number two behind France, but were displaced by Chile in 2005, coincident with a decrease in tariffs for Chile as a result of its free trade agreement with Korea. Elimination of tariffs on U.S. wine will make U.S. wine competitive with Chile.
In 2006, U.S. wine exports to South Korea totaled 4.3 million liters valued at $11.3 million. It is the 12th largest market for U.S. wine exports by value and growing rapidly. California accounts for 95 percent of U.S. wine exports.
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