“Farm exports alone will support more than one million jobs in America this year,” Vilsack said. “And every dollar in exports generates another $1.31 in economic activity. Congress can help US farmers and ranchers sustain their record growth by passing smart trade deals like the US-Korea Free-Trade Agreement, which will increase exports and support job creation here at home."
Economic output is estimated to grow more under the US-Korea FTA than from the US’ last nine free-trade agreements combined, Vilsack said. Such growth would add jobs to agriculture-focused areas such as the ports and infrastructure along the Mississippi River, from Minneapolis to New Orleans, Vilsack said.
The US-Korea Free-Trade Agreement would eliminate tariffs on a variety of American goods – including agricultural products such as beef, soybeans and feed grains– while adding tens of thousands of jobs to the US economy.
In fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010 – Sept. 30, 2011), US farm goods exports are projected to surpass previous records by $20 billion. The agricultural trade balance – a balance of US exports versus foreign imports – is also projected to set a record surplus of $47.5 billion in 2011. Vilsack said every $1 billion in farm exports supports roughly 8,400 jobs in the US.