On October 12, 2011, after more than three years, the United States Congress approved the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). According to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), “The U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, the largest negotiated agreement in over two decades, offers substantial new economic opportunities as well.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) reports that, under the KORUS FTA, 95 percent of industrial and consumer products will be traded duty free within five years. Additionally, almost two-thirds (by value) of Korea’s agricultural imports from the U.S. become duty free upon entry into force of the FTA.
In a brief on their website, the USTR also notes, “The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the reduction of these tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on goods alone will add…around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea”.
Over the last five years, Utah’s exports to Korea have constituted .62% of U.S. exports to Korea, on average annually.  This suggests that Utah can expect an estimated $62 million increase in annual merchandise exports following implementation of the KORUS FTA. Earlier this year, the U.S. International Trade administration reported that during 2010, every $181,000 in exports supported one U.S. job. At that rate, a $62 million increase in Utah exports to Korea would mean an increase of roughly 340 jobs here in the state.
For more detailed information on the KORUS FTA, please see the following links: