Passing of FTAs Vital to Ag, Economy

Monday, President Barack Obama submitted the long standing Colombia, Korea and Panama free trade agreements (FTAs) to Congress for ratification. Congress not only needs to pass each agreement, but they need to act swiftly giving a sure expansion to the American export economy.

“The series of trade agreements I am submitting to Congress today will make it easier for American companies to sell their products in South Korea, Colombia, and Panama and provide a major boost to our exports,” President Obama said in a statement.  “These agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across the country for workers making products stamped with three proud words: Made in America.”

According to government and industry estimates, the three FTAs will result in an additional $2.5 billion in sales and lead to the creation of over 20,000 jobs, which are critical to creating economic growth and employment for U.S. citizens. Agriculture has the potential to play a major role in those increased sales if the FTAs are passed lessening restrictions and creating fair market access for exports.   

“These FTAs provide additional opportunities for U.S. grain exports by immediately eliminating import duties on corn and co-products,” said, Gary Duffy, President of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association.  “Global trade competition is important to the bottom line of all South Dakota farmers and the agreements paint a bright picture for the future with significant growth opportunities.”

“These countries represent a growing market in need of additional protein at a fair price and our farmers are ready to deliver,” said Lisa Richardson, SDCGA Executive Director. “Congress can’t afford to sit on these agreements; it’s time to give our economy and its industries the export market access they deserve.”

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