Glanbia Foods in Twin Falls, Northwest River Supplies in Moscow, and PakSense in Boise have increased sales since the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement took effect last March 15, the Idaho Department of Commerce says.
"With the ease of exporting to South Korea, we've seen steady growth over the last couple years," said David Blue, director of sales and marketing at NRS, which makes and sells canoes, apparel, fishing and camping equipment and other whitewater-paddling merchandise. "Korea represents a huge opportunity for us as we continue exploring new market opportunities, grow our dealer base and increase our sales in the region,"
NRS, which exports to about 60 countries, began trading with Korea about six years ago by importing inflatable watercraft for use in river running applications. A year later, NRS began exporting to Korea.
NRS says it benefits from reduced tariffs and simplified trading for both exports and imports.
Glanbia Foods has exported whey proteins and lactose to Asian markets since the early 1990s. In 2007, Glanbia expanded its exports to include cheese. That year, Korea imported nearly 20 million pounds of cheese from the United States.
Cheeses such as cheddar had tariffs higher than 30 percent before the Korea free-trade agreement. Those tariffs are being incrementally reduced until they are eliminated in 2021.
PakSense, which makes packing labels that monitor perishable goods during distribution and storage, began exporting to Korea in 2009.
PakSense labels, which are about the size of a sugar packet, monitor and store data on the condition and temperature of packaged goods. They can issue a warning if the temperature of a package gets too hot or cold. The labels are used to monitor seafood, meat, juice, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other products.
The trade agreement is allowing PakSense customers in Korea to buy labels for less, and it broadens the potential base of PakSense customers there, the department says.
The department says the agreement is the United States' most commercially significant agreement in almost 20 years.
The department is touting an upcoming trade mission led by Gov. Butch Otter to Korea and two other countries April 19-27. Trade mission stops will include Seoul, Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
To learn more, visit: http://commerce.idaho.gov/international