U.S. Trade Deal with South Korea Prompts Australia to Move

The Australian government is looking to secure a free trade agreement with South Korea within 12 months. The U.S. already has an FTA with Korea. Under that deal - the tariff on U.S. beef is being eliminated over 15 years. The Australian beef industry has calculated it will suffer a cumulative loss of 1.4-billion dollars over the 15 years unless Australia secures a similar trade agreement with Korea. The Australian market share of beef imports to South Korea was 54-percent in 2012-13 - but their government says that share is under threat by U.S. beef. As a result - expediting a deal with Korea is of the highest priority for the country's beef industry. They say it's vital Australian beef remains competitive in the Korean market.

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