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Free trade deals moving

South Korean vendors sells steamed pork at a market, May 13, 2002 in Seoul, South Korea.

Jeremy Hobson: Well votes are expected today on Capitol Hill on some long delayed free trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The pact with South Korea
would be the biggest trade deal since NAFTA sixteen years ago.

Here's our Washington bureau chief John Dimsdale.


John Dimsdale: The White House says the Korean deal will mean some $11 billion in new U.S. exports every year, and will create or save 70,000 jobs. Since Korea has little agriculture, American farmers are looking for some new customers for everything from poultry to peanuts.

Mary Nelson: They eat a lot of pork.

Mary Nelson is vice president of Kemin Industries, which sells ingredients to Iowa pork farmers. She expects that lower tariffs on all kinds of meat will mean more exports, even though U.S. pork still won't be the cheapest on global markets.

Nelson: I think U.S. pork is good pork. I think it's one of the best quality pork, and they like good pork.

Koreans also have a taste for U.S. dairy products; cheese makers are looking for a 50 percent increase in exports. And Koreans are hoping to sell more steel to American construction companies, and semi-conductors for American computers.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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