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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Applauds President Trump’s New U.S. Trade Deal with South Korea

Media Contacts:  

Luke Robson, 402-471-1967



LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts welcomed news from the White House that President Donald J. Trump has secured a new trade deal with South Korea.


“South Korea is home to some of Nebraska’s best customers and investors,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Beef exports to South Korea increased by 14 percent in 2017.  That increase helped push our total beef exports up by 12 percent from 2016.  This new trade deal demonstrates a long-term commitment to this partnership with South Korea, which will deepen our ties and encourage even more investment in our future.”


The trade deal extends and expands the United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).  Details of the renegotiated deal can be found here.


“The updated agreement between the U.S. and South Korea is certainly good news for Nebraska,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman.  “The free trade pact will continue to be valuable for Nebraska agricultural exports.  Total exports in 2016 were $499.9 million, making South Korea our fourth largest market.  Value added products of beef and pork total over $327 million with corn, distillers grain, and soybean exports adding to the total.”




Declining tariffs brought about by KORUS helped America become South Korea’s largest beef supplier in 2016.  America exported $1.1 billion in beef exports to South Korea in 2017.


South Korea is Nebraska’s fourth-largest agriculture export market, with $499.9 million worth of exports in 2016.  They are a top-5 customer for Nebraska beef, hides and skins, corn, distillers grains, pork, ethanol, and wheat.


  • Beef:  $221.5 million – 2nd largest market
  • Corn:  $101 million – 3rd largest market
  • Hides and Skins:  $66.4 million – 2nd largest market
  • Pork:  $39.2 million – 4th largest market
  • Distillers Grains:  $23.4 million – 4th largest market
  • Soybeans:  $22.8 million




In January, Governor Ricketts welcomed back a trade delegation made up of trade representatives from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC), Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, and Gage Area Growth Enterprise (NGage).  The delegation met with companies and industry associations in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 9-10, to promote Nebraska as a destination for foreign direct investment.


Full details about their trip can be found here.