By 2017, nearly 95 percent of U.S. exports to Korea became duty-free. For the first three quarters of 2018, total U.S. exports to South Korea have increased even further by 10 percent to reach nearly $60 billion, primarily driven by a 166 percent or $3.1 billion increase in oil and gas sales from the U.S. to the ROK. Full implementation of the KORUS FTA will occur on March 15, 2022, when almost all remaining tariffs will be eliminated. In 2018, the U.S. and South Korea signed additional modifications to KORUS primarily focused on the motor vehicle and pharmaceutical trade, along with streamlining customs procedures, with a goal to positively affect the U.S. economy. These changes went into effect on January 1, 2019.
The Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI), utilizing data provided by the Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC (Washington, D.C.), demonstrates the important role Korea plays in the economic livelihood of each individual Congressional district, including the number of jobs directly or indirectly created or sustained by exports to Korea. The details behind the methodology of the statistics can be found on the website of the Trade Partnership (www.tradepartnership.com). The most recent information is available from 2016 because Congressional district-specific data on trade in services from 2017 is not expected to be released until later this year.