US Beef's International Success Boils Down to Two Things: Its Great Taste and Good Trade DealsWed, 10 Oct 2018 11:41:25 CDT
When it comes to export destinations for US beef, South Korea is No. 2 with a bullet. Kent Bacus is director of international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and said recently that while much of the US beef industry’s success in Korea can be attributed to customers there simply loving the taste of American beef, it is also in large part thanks to the fruitful trade deal that was brokered between the two countries several years ago.
“The Korea Free Trade Agreement is a prime example of how trade agreements can benefit US agriculture. When you look at our sales prior to the implementation of the Korea Free Trade Agreement, we were already starting to trend up, but we still ran into this massive 40 percent tariff that really limited our potential there,” Bacus said. “We were subject to more competition from cheaper sources, countries like Australia.”
Since then, however, Bacus says we have come a long way in our trade relationship with Korea under the favorable terms of the KORUS trade treaty which has and over time will continue to ratchet down the existing tariff in place until it is fully eliminated in 2026. In effect, the US has managed to capture large portions of Korea’s high-end beef markets and essentially pushed Australia and other competitors out. This has been such a success, in fact, that the US is now rated Korea’s No. 1 source of beef imports. Bacus points to the latest US meat export report for August that was recently released from the USDA. Based on this data and his experience in the business, the industry seems to be on track to surpass last year’s record setting export pace with no end to the mounting momentum in sight.
“Keep in mind, this is a growing market. These consumers love beef- they love our beef,” he said. “We’ve come a long way in the last ten years and we still have a lot of potential in that market.”
Listen to Bacus discuss the success that has been fostered under the KORUS trade agreement, with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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