Sunday, July 3, 2011

Free Trade

Stallman Urges Senate Finance Committee to Approve FTAs

Washington--In a letter to members of the Senate Finance Committee, AFBF President Bob Stallman on Wednesday expressed support for the pending trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama and encouraged the committee to “report the final trade packages.”

“Failure to advance and pass the Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements will be at the detriment of U.S. farmers and ranchers and American jobs,” Stallman said. “We have estimated that these three agreements combined represent the opportunity to increase U.S. agricultural exports by $2.5 billion per year after full implementation. Those additional exports would generate support for as many as 22,500 U.S. jobs. These gains will only be realized if these three agreements are passed by Congress and implemented.”

Stallman also said that inaction over the last four years on the trade agreements has opened the door to U.S. competitors in those markets.

“U.S. agriculture has lost significant exports and market share in Colombia due to Brazil and Argentina’s trade agreement with Colombia through MERCOSUR,” Stallman said. “Our producers are bracing for implementation of the European Union-Korea trade agreement expected in July. The reality of future losses does not stop there. These same countries and others, such as Canada and Australia, continue to move forward, through current negotiations or pending implementation, with these three U.S. trading partners.”

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