President Obama is pushing for quick implementation of the free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, according to Islam Siddiqui, chief agriculture negotiator for the office of U.S. Trade Representative, (USTR.) Siddiqui was interviewed by Agri-Talk Radio last week.

“President Obama is directing USTR to seek implementation of these free-trade agreements,” said Siddiqui.

The agreement with South Korea represents the biggest prize for U.S. agriculture. In 2010, the U.S. exported $5.3 billion in agriculture goods to South Korea.  Siddiqui believes the trade agreement with South Korea will result in an additional $1.9 billion per year in U.S. agriculture exports.

 Our trade partners in South Korea must also pass implementing legislation, so they have to do their part also, according to Siddiqui.

Upon implementation, two-thirds of the tariffs on U.S. exports to South Korea will go to zero, according to Siddiqui.

“At this time, the ball is in the court of Korean authorities as they have to push the law through the South Korean National Assembly,” according to the CME Daily Livestock Report. “If the bill is ratified in South Korea as well, then it could go into effect as early as January 2012.”

Source: AgriTalk Radio, CME Daily Livestock Report