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U.S. rice gets access to South Korea

South Korea has agreed to lower tariffs for a significant amount of imported rice and the U.S will be part of the deal. The USDA says South Korea will provide access for 132,304 tons of U.S. rice annually, worth around $110 million, and has also agreed to measures to ensure transparency for import tender and auction activity.

South Korea has had a 513% import duty on rice since 2015 to protect its domestic producers as rice consumption levels dropped and this week, the World Trade Organization allowed South Korea’s tariff rate quota system to remain in place, but with a 5% rate on imports of 408,700 tons, after which the 513% tariff resume. Out of the remaining non-U.S. volume, 157,195 tons goes to China, 55,112 tons to Vietnam, 28,494 tons to Thailand, and 15,595 tons for Australia. The remaining 20,000 tons will be filled by tenders open to all bids.

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