FTAs inching forward

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – Three long-stalled free-trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, were sent to Congress on Oct. 3 by President Obama for final ratification. J. Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute president and CEO, urged swift congressional action on the three trade pacts.

“These agreements contain significant export gains for our meat and poultry products that will only be realized by passage and implementation,” Boyle said. “Conversely, inaction has proven to result in loss of US market share and forfeiture of economic growth.”

All three trade agreements combined represent more than $2 billion of additional agriculture exports to these trading partners, Boyle said. The South Korean, Colombian and Panamanian FTAs would also represent the creation of 29,524 new jobs in the US meat and poultry sectors, according to a recent impact study conducted in part by AMI.

Passage of the agreements could increase US exports of beef by $1.4 billion, pork by $772 million and poultry by $102 million, the data further reveals. Jobs created from this growth, both in the commodity groups and downstream, would include an estimated 18,000 in the beef industry, 10,300 in the pork industry and 1,200 in the poultry industry.

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to formally address all three trade pacts on Oct.5, clearing the measures for floor action, according to the US Meat Export Federation.
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