Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just in from Washington

Free Trade Talks Continue on Capitol Hill

Washington--The inability of Congress and the administration to move three stalled free trade agreements is hurting U.S. economic growth, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman who testified Thursday before the House Agriculture Committee. Combined, the Korea, Colombia and Panama agreements would add nearly $2.5 billion to the U.S. economy through agricultural trade.

Once fully implemented, the Korea free trade agreement would trigger $1.9 billion annually in agriculture exports. Gains in exports through the Colombia agreement are estimated at $370 million, while the Panama agreement is estimated to increase U.S. agricultural exports by more than $46 million.

“These trade agreements are not only important to the bottom line of America’s farmers and ranchers but the economic health of our rural communities and the overall U.S. economy,” said Stallman. “There is a long supply chain made up of American workers who get products from the farm gate to foreign consumers. A decline in our exports means a decline in work for those who are a part of that supply chain.”

AFBF news release

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