MINNEAPOLIS – On June 7, Cargill hosted an employee forum and a business roundtable discussion on the US-South Korea Free-Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), which is currently pending presidential notification to and approval from US Congress.

Ambassador Han Duk-soo met with Cargill employees to discuss the importance of an open trade and investment climate between South Korea and the US. He discussed how the KORUS FTA can stimulate economic growth between the two economies.

"I am here today to talk to local business leaders about the benefits the KORUS FTA will extend to them, and to ask the citizens of Minnesota to support its ratification, the ambassador said. "Korea and the US share common objectives on trade and investment. U. investments and trade play a vital economic role in Korea, as do Korea's investments in and trade with the US. Korea's consumers are an important driver of the US economy. Two-way trade and investment are a win-win for the US and South Korea."

Already completing a free-trade agreement with the European Union, Korea's FTA negotiations with Canada are in the advanced stages. Passing the KORUS FTA would allow US businesses, manufacturers, farmers and workers to compete on a level playing field, at a time when job creation and competitiveness are paramount to a healthy economy.

Cargill hosted a business roundtable discussion with leaders from General Mills, Land O' Lakes, Mosaic, Ecolab and Red Wing Shoes after the employee meeting. US Congressman Erik Paulsen, as well as Mark Phillips, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, attended the Cargill meetings, which were part of a US Chamber of Commerce visit to the Twin Cities.

"Cargill has enjoyed a rich history of doing business in Korea and we see our relationship with South Korea as critical from both an economic and agricultural industry standpoint," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and CEO. "We encourage Congress to act now and pass this important agreement."

Cargill is invested in many US businesses that export directly to South Korea, including Cargill Meat Solutions and its Grain and Oilseed Supply Chain unit. In addition, Cargill Animal Nutrition has a significant presence in South Korea. Passing the KORUS FTA would stimulate greater demand for the products of those businesses and allow for fair competition with other countries.