If signed by Congress, a new trade agreement between the United States and the Republic of Korea would cut tariffs on U.S. citrus exports, according to a Florida Citrus Mutual news release. Congress and the Bush administration are expected to sign the deal by the end of June.
Provisions of the agreement include:
- Korea’s elimination of the current tariff of 30 percent on orange juice within one year of agreement;
- Reduction of the current tariff of 30 percent on grapefruit to zero in even increments over five years;
- Out-of-season oranges (March 1-Sept. 1) reduced from current tariff of 50 percent to 30 percent in year one; reduced from 30 percent to zero in even increments over years two through seven;
- In-season oranges (Sept. 1-March 1) reduced from current tariff to zero on the first 2,500 metric tons of fruit; any number of tons over 2,500 would be subject to tariff of 50 percent.
Last year, U.S. citrus exports to the Republic of Korea totaled more than $115 million.