Waterjet systems manufacturer Jet Edge, Inc. recently became one of the first U.S. companies to take advantage of the United States’ new free trade agreement with South Korea, shipping two containers of industrial ultra-high pressure waterjet equipment valued at more than $700,000 USD to the Republic of Korea.
Under the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), which went into effect March 15, 2012, some 80 percent of U.S. industrial and commercial exports to Korea are now duty free, nearly 95 percent of trade will become duty free within five years, and most remaining tariffs will be eliminated within 10 years. The KORUS FTA is the United States’ most significant trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada in 1994. It is expected to add $10-12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product.
Jet Edge estimates that under the FTA’s stepped tariff reduction schedule for waterjet systems, its Korean customer will save almost $19,000 USD. By year three of the agreement, the same size order would make Jet Edge’s American-made equipment approximately $56,000 USD more competitive than similar goods imported from Europe or other Asian counties without similar free trade agreements between the two countries.
“The U.S.-Korea FTA is a tremendous opportunity for Jet Edge and other U.S. manufacturers to be more competitive and increase industrial manufacturing exports to South Korea,” said David Anderson, Jet Edge international sales manager. “As you may recall, Gov. Mark Dayton’s first trade mission as Minnesota’s governor was to South Korea, and Jet Edge was awarded the Korean contract at the same time as the governor’s trade mission, so Jet Edge’s export is a significant milestone for our state’s economy.
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