Korea's exports to U.S. jump 10% since the KORUS FTAUpdated: 2014-03-14 PM 9:59:12 (KST)
The trade ministry says Korea's exports to the U.S. have increased by ten percent since the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement took effect two years ago.
Exports of industry goods benefiting from the FTA such as automobile and petroleum products saw a 15 percent increase over the past two years, compared to two years prior to ratification.
That's more than a doubling of Korea's overall exports over the same period.
But imports from the U.S. shrank nearly 4 percent overall despite a ten percent surge of American imported goods benefiting from the pact, like medicine and medical supplies.
One area offsetting overall U.S. imports was agricultural products -- the sore spot that caused much opposition from Korean farmers, delaying the ratification process in 2012.
Compared to 2011, imports of American agricultural goods last year showed a 20 percent decrease according to the ministry.
A report released by the Korea International Trade Association on Friday says a gradual recovery in the world's largest economy will help boost Korean exports.
The report also advises Korean companies to focus on products that are increasingly in demand in the U.S. market -- for example, biodiesel products and lighting equipment.
At a forum held in Washington Thursday, local time, U.S. lawmakers also positively evaluated the effects of the FTA saying it has strengthened not only the two countries' economic ties but also their political and military alliance.
But reports say there were also critical voices from American civil organizations.
Citing the decreased U.S. export figures to Korea, they say the deal has "fallen far short of job promises and improvements in trade balances."
Laah Hyun-kyung, Arirang News.
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