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NDTO News Article

Trade Office directs trade missions to S. America, S. Korea

BISMARCK, N.D. – Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple and the North Dakota Trade Office will
lead trade missions to two South American countries and to the Republic of Korea beginning February 26.

Dalrymple and the Trade Office will guide a trade delegation representing four North
Dakota businesses including three agribusinesses that produce and market peas andlentils to Colombia and Peru Feb. 26 to March 5. They will follow with a second trade mission, leading a diverse 25-member delegation to the Republic of Korea March 14-21.

“Our efforts to grow the state’s economy through expanded export sales are paying off,”
Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. “These trade missions are one of several strategies we’re using to assist North Dakota businesses in taking advantage of opportunities in the international marketplace.”

The value of North Dakota’s exports of manufactured and processed goods increased 21
percent during the first three quarters of 2007 – nearly twice the national average of 11 percent during the same time period, the International Trade Administration reports.

In 2006, Colombia imported peas and lentils valued at $28 million. Canada supplied 97
percent of the commodities. Peru imported peas and lentils valued at nearly $20 million dollars in 2006. Canada supplies about 60 percent of Peru’s demand while U.S. producers have gained nearly 40 percent of the market share.

A trade agreement reached between the United States and Peru in December will greatly
expand export opportunities for U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and service providers. Under terms of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial goods to Peru will enter duty-free, with remaining tariffs to be phased out within 10 years. More than two-thirds of current U.S. farm exports will be duty free immediately upon the trade deal’s implementation.

A similar trade agreement reached with Colombia, but awaiting Congressional ratification, calls for the immediate elimination of tariffs on more than 80 percent of U.S. exports including beef, wheat, soybeans and other commodities.

The Republic of Korea, March 14-21

On March 14, Dalrymple will lead a 25-member delegation to Seoul, Korea. The mission
participants include North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, representatives from nine North Dakota agribusinesses, three universities, Jamestown College and other companies with diverse business interests in South Korea. The mission’s goals include increasing export opportunities for agribusinesses and other companies, student recruitment and advocacy on behalf of the state’s intermodal shippers.

Research conducted by the U.S. Commercial Service and Trade Office shows that the
Republic of Korea is a high-demand market for many U.S. products including value-added crops, medical equipment, aircraft and related parts, building products and construction equipment.

South Korea is the United States’ 7th largest trading partner and the 5th largest market for U.S. agricultural products. In 2006, North Dakota exported goods to Korea valued at $10 million, five times more than in 2001. Incomplete data for 2007 shows the state is on track to top the record exports of 2006.

Korea is the largest supplier of foreign students to the United States, the U.S. Commercial Service reports. Korea’s education segment offers good opportunities for U.S. educational institutions because Koreans still prefer the United States to other nations competing for education dollars. The Korean market also looks promising for cooperative programs involving e-learning and educational training in the fields of language training, business administration, and
technical programs.

Dalrymple, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson and Trade Office
Executive Director Susan Geib and members of the trade delegation also plan to meet with Korean officials to call for an end of a ban on imports of U.S. beef.

The trade mission will give North Dakota companies a marketing advantage as they
develop business relationships in advance of Congress’s anticipated passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab called the trade deal “the most commercially significant trade agreement the United States has concluded in 15 years.”

The agreement would provide greater access to Korea’s $1 trillion economy and 49 million consumers. With the agreement, almost two-thirds of U.S. farm products exports would become duty free immediately. Also, Korea’s 40-percent tariff on U.S. beef would be eliminated over 15 years.

Companies participating in the Colombia and Peru trade mission are:

• JM Grain, Garrison
• Paulson Premium Seed, Bowman
• West Dakota Feed and Seed, Ross
• Roll-A-Ramp, West Fargo

Companies participating in the trade mission to South Korea are:

• Dakota Pride Cooperative, Jamestown
• ND Mill and Elevator, Grand Forks
• Gussiaas Farm, Inc., Carrington
• Brushvale Seed Inc., Wahpeton
• Sun Opta, Fargo-Moorhead
• SB&B Foods Inc., Casselton
• Unity Seed, Casselton
• Cloverdale Foods, Mandan
• J&J Corporation, Inc., Fargo
• University of North Dakota
• Jamestown College
• Dickinson State University
• Roll-A-Ramp, West Fargo
• Ideal Aerosmith, Inc., East Grand Forks, Minn.
• Advenio Partners LLC, Fargo
• Bismarck-Mandan Development Association