WASHINGTON – U.S. meat and poultry exports have been a major success story over the last two decades, demonstrating that great potential exists for the U.S. meat and poultry industry in the international trade arena, recently wrote J. Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute president and chief executive officer, in a guest editorial in The Hill, a leading Congressional newspaper.

“With meat consumption rising along with economic development and population in many nations around the world, we have billions of hungry, potential customers,” Mr. Boyle said. “But if the United States is not there to fill their plates, other major exporting nations will.”

Mr. Boyle urged the Obama administration to work to expand access to growing international markets for America’s high-quality meat and poultry products, by urging Congressional passage of pending free-trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia – agreements that have already been signed by the U.S.

“These free-trade agreements will provide America’s farmers, ranchers, food processors and the businesses they support with improved access to global consumers while creating more jobs at home,” Mr. Boyle said.

He added the U.S. must confront unjust barriers to U.S. exports and ensure trade is governed by guidelines established by the O.I.E. (World Organization for Animal Health), which he said are sometimes subjugated to protectionism.

“As the president said in his State of the Union address, ‘The more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America.’ I couldn’t agree more,” Mr. Boyle concluded.

To view the entire editorial, click: http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/84805-increased-agricultural-exports-a-must-for-us-producers