Today, Mark Udall released the following statement after his roundtable with Ambassador Han Duk-soo of the Republic of Korea, Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar and agricultural producers to discuss ways Colorado can take advantage of improved access to the Korean market.
"It was a great opportunity to host Ambassador Han in Colorado today. He is leaving with a better understanding of the importance of agriculture to every part of our state and with a new Colorado perspective on the pending Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," Udall said. "This understanding can lead to greater opportunity for Colorado's agricultural producers and processors to gain access to the Korean market, which will equate to more business opportunities and more jobs across Colorado. I look forward to continuing a mutually beneficial relationship between our nations."
The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) had languished since 2007, until both countries recently renewed talks. Korea is the United States' seventh largest trading partner and is its fifth largest market for U.S. agricultural goods abroad. Colorado's agricultural industries, including beef, dairy and wheat, provide millions of dollars in exports to Korea and support hundreds of jobs throughout Colorado. A trade agreement, with tariff phase-outs and eliminated duties, has the potential to make Colorado a bigger player on the Asian export markets.