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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Welcomes South Korea’s Consul-General to Nebraska

Media Contacts:  

Luke Robson, 402-471-1967




Governor Ricketts and South Korea’s Consul-General Jong-Kook Lee.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted South Korea’s Consul-General Jong-Kook Lee at the Nebraska State Capitol.  Consul-General Lee serves at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago, which oversees 13 states in the American Midwest.


“South Korea and Nebraska are great partners,” 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.  I’m glad to have the chance to meet with Consul-General Lee and discuss opportunities to deepen our ties.”


South Korea is Nebraska’s fourth-largest ag export market.  The market is poised to grow following a renegotiated United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).  Details of the renegotiated deal can be found here.




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-five 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
  • Wheat: $5.7 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.