From Korea, Thoughts on Tariffs, Jets and Chilean Wine

By October 15, 2010General, Trade

A blogging postscript from Doug Goudie of the National Association of Manufacturers, who completes his reporting from a U.S. business delegation’s trip to South Korea.

I suppose I could blog my 18 hour flight home tomorrow, but that probably won’t be very exciting for most readers. We’ll be on a Boeing aircraft, with American in-flight movies, American soft drinks, beer, snacks and wine, and an American flight crew. So hey, I guess I can work some trade-related content into my flight home!

In fact, Boeing, the American entertainment industry, American food and drink brands, and services industries will all benefit from the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement. Removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers will benefit manufactured goods like aircraft and processed foods. IPR protections will benefit American movies, music and software and the FTA opens the Korean market more than any previous FTA that the United States has previously signed.

Strong services language in the FTA will ensure that American companies that provide services — financial, insurance, express delivery, professional services — have remarkable new access to the Korean market and strong guarantees that protect their participation.

And wine? Here’s a cautionary tale about what happens when you put trade agreements on pause:

Chilean wines on sale at the South Korean wine site, 2001 the U.S. had a 5 percent share of Korea’s wine market, and Chile had zero percent. In 2004, when Chile enacted its FTA with Korea, the U.S. and Chile both had 9 percent market share in Korea’s wine market.

Korea’s tariffs on wine went to zero for Chile but remain very high for the United States. And last year, Chile has 30 percent of Korea’s wine market, the U.S. only 15 percent.

Time out on trade means time out on exports, jobs, growth, and new opportunities.

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