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U.S. agriculture secretary visits St. Louis to champion Korean trade pact

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(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack bids farwell to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) in St. Louis on March 28, 2011, after encouraging an audience of agriculture leaders from Missouri to focus on trade opportunities outside of their borders.

Missouri farmers stand to benefit under a free-trade pact currently before Congress.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in St. Louis today to urge Congress to pass the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

He said Missouri exports large amounts of pork and soybeans, products that have a ready market in South Korea.

"So it makes sense for us to be here in St. Louis because a good deal of those crops basically find their way to St. Louis and past St. Louis on the great Mississippi," Vilsack said.

Vilsack said the agreement would eliminate 60 percent of the current tariffs South Korea levies on U.S. agriculture products.

He also noted that Missouri has the most farms of any state in the country, with 108,000.

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