October 6, 2011


US President submits pending FTAs to Congress



President Obama has submitted three pending free-trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia to US Congress on October 3 for ratification.


J. Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute president and CEO urged quick congressional action on the 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 US$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 US$1.4 billion, pork by US$772 million and poultry by US$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 October 5, clearing the measures for floor action, according to the US Meat Export Federation.

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