Trade liberalization in the agricultural sector is a prominent issue in the Republic of Korea as in many newly developing countries. Based on the welfare economics approach the study estimates that Korea loses as much as 1.5 billion US$ per year by protecting its beef market. The author analyzes the production costs of national beef production based on extensive empirical material and determines the anticipated changes in the sector. National beef demand is expanding quickly. Import liberalization resulting in lower beef prices could increase the use of natural feed resources and national fodder production. The negative social impact on the rural economy would, however, be substantial as beef production is the second major income source for farmers and often provides for old-age livelihood in the absence of old-age security schemes.