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Meat industry wants free trade deal with Korea

ABC, Australia

Meat industry wants free trade deal with Korea

By Kath Sullivan

20 March 2012

The Australian Meat Industry Council says Australian beef exporters need a free trade agreement with Korea.

This week Korea began an FTA with the United States, that will see trade tariffs on US imports rolled back from the current 40 per cent over the next 15 years.

Steve Martin, from the AMIC, says Australian exporters already have the disadvantage of a high Australian dollar when exporting, and the sooner they get an agreement with Korea the better.

He says he’s not surprised that the US got an FTA before Australia.

"We can’t forget the fact the United States has had a long relationship also with Korea," he said.

"Ever since the Korean War in the 50s they have a substantial (presence), 30,000 or more troops up on the border with North Korea.

"This is an important factor in the whole relationship with Korea and the United States."