WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. – The U.S. has reached an agreement with South Korea on market access for U.S. rice.
Under the agreement, South Korea will provide access for 132,304 tonnes of U.S. rice annually, with an annual value of approximately $110 million. South Korea also agreed to important disciplines to ensure transparency and predictability around the tendering and auctioning for U.S. rice.
“Today’s announcement is another great testament of President Trump’s determination to expand export opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Exports are critical for the economic health of the U.S. rice industry, with half our crop being exported every year. Agreements like this, that expand opportunities for U.S. rice producers in important markets, are critical to introduce foreign customers to the bounty of goods produced by America’s farmers.”
The agreement will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2020.
“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, this agreement gives our farmers the largest volume of guaranteed market access for rice in Korea that the United States has ever enjoyed,” said United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “It will prove enormously beneficial for American producers and their customers in Korea, who will enjoy access to high quality and cost competitive U.S. rice.”
In 2014, the U.S., Australia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam entered into negotiations with South Korea when its special treatment for rice market access under the World Trade Organization (WTO) expired.
As a result of these negotiations, South Korea agreed to include in its WTO schedule a 408,700-tonne tariff-rate quota for rice imports with a 5% in-quota duty and a 513% above-quota duty. Of that 408,700 tonnes, South Korea will allocate 388,700 tonnes of rice into country-specific quotas under a Plurilateral Agreement with the U.S., Australia, China, Thailand and Vietnam. The remaining 20,000 tonnes will be administered on a global basis, which U.S. suppliers can also bid for.