SD Corn Growers support FTAs, urge Congress to act swiftly

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) strongly supports free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that President Obama sent to Congress on Monday.


“These agreements will open up important export market opportunities for South Dakota producers,” SDCGA President Gary Duffy of Oldham said. “The longer we wait for free-trade agreements to be ratified, the longer that farmers are losing out on an important market share in those three nations. We’re confident these agreements have bipartisan support and we believe Congress will act quickly.”


Duffy said each of the three nations is an important market for grains and co-products.


U.S. corn growers have watched other nations gain a competitive edge through trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. These new agreements would provide significant opportunities for U.S. agriculture by immediately eliminating import duties on the vast majority of commodities, such as corn, other coarse grains and co-products such as distillers grains.


Global trade is important to South Dakota farmers. The state exported $2.3 billion worth of agricultural products to all countries in 2009, including $606 million worth of feed grains, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The export markets add value to American products.
 

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