US Grains Council supports free trade agreement passage

Free trade agreements would result in $2.5 billion in additional sales, create 20,000 jobs

The U.S. Grains Council applauded the U.S. administration in its renewed push for the passage of three pending bilateral trade agreements, including Colombia, Korea and Panama.

According to estimates, the three FTAs will result in an additional $2.5 billion in sales and lead to the creation of more than 20,000 jobs. Lack of ratification has led to loss of U.S. exports and market share, as a number of foreign competitors have aggressively pursued favorable trade deals that place U.S. exporters at a competitive disadvantage, USGC says. “We are encouraged by the Administration’s submission of the long-standing free trade agreements for ratification by Congress,” said Dr. Wendell Shauman, USGC chairman. “Passage of these agreements will help to immediately level the playing field and allow organizations like the Council to aggressively re-engage with our international partners and win back lost market share.

“The three trade agreements are critical components of U.S. competitiveness in the international marketplace. Once ratified, they will offer immediate duty-free or preferential treatment for U.S. coarse grains exports of and most U.S. agricultural commodities,” said Shauman. “This will not only benefit U.S. producers, but will also enhance each country’s ability to meet the needs of its growing middle class for high-quality protein products at low cost to consumers.”