What Korea Means to Our Farmers
Tensions with Korea appear to be ongoing. More talk of North Korea launching additional missiles is adding to fears of conflict.
One thing that is already becoming an issue, is trade between countries. Withdrawal from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, will have an effect on the corn industry.
South Korea is the third largest importer of U.S. corn so far this marketing year, buying 5.3 million metric tons, more than 200 million bushels.
The U.S. Grains Council released a statement saying,
The Council strongly opposes withdrawal from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), an action that will lead to immediate and sustained losses in sales to our third largest corn customer. The Council has worked in South Korea since 1972, offering expertise on how to use corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and, most recently, ethanol. This work has helped spur dynamic growth in the South Korean livestock and feed grains sectors and made it one of the largest and most loyal customers of U.S. grain. KORUS has solidified and enhanced our longtime and fruitful partnership with South Korea. Unilaterally walking away from it now is a rash move that will harm relationships we have built over a period of 40 years at the expense U.S. farm country.
Strong exports to South Korea of grains have had a large impact on the overall U.S. economy.