State economic development officials say a new trade agreement between the United States and South Korea will be a boon to Minnesota businesses.
The deal eliminates tariffs on nearly 80 percent of American consumer and industrial products sold to South Korea. Under the agreement nearly all products exchanged between the two countries will be traded duty-free within a decade. It goes into effect Thursday.
The deal will boost sales of Minnesota agricultural goods and medical devices, and will help the United States compete with Europe, said Katie Clark, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office.
"One reason why this is so important is because the EU signed an agreement with Korea last June," Clark said. "What this is doing is allowing U.S. products to remain competitive in the Korean markets."
She says the agreement will improve an already strong business relationship between Minnesota and South Korea. In 2011, Minnesota sold $702 million worth of goods to South Korea and imported $191 million in goods.