The U.S. Trump administration has reached an agreement with the government of South Korea on market access for U.S. rice. Under the agreement, Korea will provide access for 132,304 tons of U.S. rice annually, with an annual value of approximately $110 million. Korea also agreed to important disciplines to ensure transparency and predictability around the tendering and auctioning for U.S. rice.
In 2014, the United States, Australia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam entered into negotiations with Korea when its special treatment for rice market access under the World Trade Organization (WTO) expired. As a result of these negotiations, Korea agreed to include in its WTO Schedule a 408,700-ton tariff-rate quota for rice imports with a 5% in-quota duty and a 513% above-quota duty. Of that 408,700 tons, Korea will allocate 388,700 tons of rice into country-specific quotas under a Plurilateral Agreement with the United States, Australia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam. The remaining 20,000 tons will be administered on a global basis, which U.S. suppliers can also bid for.
“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
The agreement will enter into force on January 1, 2020.
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