US-South Korea pact a ‘windfall’ for US chemicals – trade group

05 April 2012 21:08  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--The free trade agreement (FTA) between the US and South Korea will result in a “windfall” for the US chemical sector, the head of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) said on Thursday.

“From 2008-2010, around $892m [€678m] in duties were paid on US chemical exports to Korea – money that could have been spent on R&D [research and development], technology and process improvements,” said Larry Sloan, president and CEO of SOCMA.

Sloan spoke at a meeting of the Chemical Marketing & Economics Group in New York.

“Through the FTA with Korea, most of these duties will be eliminated altogether,” he added.

The FTA between the US and South Korea took effect on 15 March, and reaches across all industries.

South Korea is the 7th largest market for US chemical exports. From 2008-2010, the US chemical sector exported $5.4bn in products to the country. This represented almost 18% of all US industrial exports to South Korea, noted Sloan.

“We supported the recent FTAs with Korea, Colombia and Panama because our industry was spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year exporting to markets in these growing economies,” said Sloan.

($1 = €0.76)

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