U.S. grain groups urge not to withdraw from KORUS


The lawmakers underscored that South Korea is a "vital" USA trading partner, urging for amendments to be made to the current KORUS trade agreement rather than taking a more drastic approach by pulling out entirely.

"To be effective and constructive, however, we must not withdraw from the agreement while we do so", they said. The agreement, which entered into force in 2012, has resulted in "noteworthy benefits" for both USA and South Korean companies, and should not be canceled, said the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.

The United States, with its european allies and japan have announced on Monday to negotiate new sanctions of the UN against North Korea, but the position of Beijing and Moscow, with a right of veto within the security Council, remains unclear. Our farm exports to that country went up by 31% in that time as well.

"Yet whether it's South Korea, Mexico and Canada, or our neighbors on the Pacific Rim, we once again find ourselves fighting to communicate the value of trade to farmers.", he said in the statement.

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The biggest foreign business group in South Korea said Tuesday it supported a trade deal between Seoul and Washington that US President Donald Trump had threatened to abandon. That would cause live hog prices to fall by 3.8%, or $4.71 per animal, an amount that would all but eliminate USA pork producers' expected gross margin per hog in 2017. "Withdrawing raises the specter of retaliation against agricultural exports and creates unnecessary uncertainty in the market". Most of Korea's soybean imports, however, come from USA competitors in Brazil and Argentina. The chamber added that "the U.S.'s sizable service trade surplus with Korea along with jobs that agriculture, and manufacturing sectors in the USA may also be at risk".

Congress ratified the KORUS trade deal in 2011, after renegotiating the initial agreement made in 2006. "And it would be devastating for our US livestock customers who export meat products to South Korea".

Trump has said countries that enjoy a trade surplus with the United States are "fleecing" USA workers and consumers.

Korea was the third largest volume importer of US wheat in marketing year 2016-17 (June to May), the USW and NAWG said. So if Trump signed a letter to withdraw from the agreement, the deal would effectively be terminated in March 2018.