Sunday, November 20, 2011

U.S.-KOREA Trade Agreement Removes 15% Tariff on U.S. Wines by Philip S. Kampe

Congress approved the U.S.-Korea trade agreement (KORUS) which eliminates tariffs and other barriers on U.S. wines that trade to Korea. The agreement immediately removes the 15% tariff on U.S. wines and the 45% tariff on grape juice concentrate.

The 15% tariff elimination also reduces the amount of excise, VAT and other taxes that are imposed on wine imports.

The 15% reduction opens the door to California wines, which make-up 90% of Korea's U.S. wine imports. Korea has a thriving wine culture with import consumption up 177% over the last decade.

In 2010, California exported 500,000 cases to Korea, valued at $11.2 million to wineries.

Through 2004, the U.S. was second only to France, but were displaced by Chile in 2005, after tariffs were lifted to Korea. Elimination of tariffs will now put the U.S. on level playing field with Chile and the EU.

PHILIP S. KAMPE
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

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