Published online: Mar 21, 2012
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WASHINGTON, D.C.-The following statement is from John Keeling, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Potato Council (NPC), on the March 15 implementation of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS-FTA):

"America's potato growers applaud the implementation of this historic free trade agreement and congratulate the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for getting the KORUS-FTA over the goal line. As a result of their years of effort and the support they received from the U.S. potato industry, frozen potato products exported to Korea are now duty-free, representing a potential increase of $35 million in U.S. potato exports. America's potato growers look forward to continuing to supply Korean consumers with the highest quality potato products in the world, now on a competitive playing field."

South Korea is the fourth largest frozen potato export market for the United States. In 2010, U.S. potato growers exported $47 million worth of product to South Korea, an increase of 29 percent over 2009. The United States enjoys an 81 percent market share in the South Korean frozen fry market. Overall, South Korea is the fifth largest export market for U.S. potatoes behind Canada, Japan, Mexico and China.